The two brothers involved in what police say was a staged hate crime against actor Jussie Smollett have issued a public apology through their lawyer.
“My clients have tremendous regret over their involvement in this situation, and they understand how it has impacted people across the nation, particularly minority communities and especially those who have been victims of hate crimes themselves,” attorney Gloria Schmidt said in a statement to CBS Chicago.
Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo were initially arrested as suspected attackers after “Empire” star, who is gay, reported that he was pummeled by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs, and “This is MAGA country!” – and then doused him with bleach and left a noose around his neck.
But cops now allege Smollett paid the pair $3,500 to stage the beatdown that ended with a noose around his neck outside his apartment building last month.
Investigators believe he staged the attack “because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has said, citing information the brothers gave authorities.
Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct and is barred from leaving the state without permission from a judge. His next court date is March 14.
The brothers were released without charges after being arrested last month.