Jussie Smollett’s 16 felony charges have been dropped, and his case has been sealed, but a Freedom of Information Request from a Chicago blogger has resulted in the media getting ahold of the Chicago Police’s report on the Smollett case.
Although incomplete and heavily redacted, the report obtained by CWB Chicago casts a new light on the $3,500 check Smollett says he gave the Osundairo brothers to pay for physical training for a music video he was working on.
The report shows a conversation between investigators and Ola and Abel Osundairo, who are friends of Smollett and admitted to helping him stage the attack — something Smollett still denies. The brothers are personal trainers who said they usually charge $50 an hour but sometimes go as low as $20.
But CBS Chicago says that even if they charged Smollett the full rate, he’d have been paying for 70 of their one-hour training sessions all at once. That’s a whole lot of training for a music video.
That might explain another recent twist in the case.
The brothers originally told police that Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, the Associated Press reported. But not long ago, the brother’s attorney, Gloria Schmidt, revealed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the check wasn’t primarily for staging the attack.
“They were paid for the training — they were training together — but also to do this favor for him,” she said.
Asked to clarify that the check covered both the attack and the training, Schmidt refused to be entirely concrete on that. She insinuated, instead, that paying for the attack was an underlying reason for Smollett paying for the training.
That would explain why Smollett overpaid the brothers by so much if he was planning to do fewer than 70 training sessions with them.
“It’s, unfortunately, a very complicated relationship for them [the brothers] because if you’re friends and I’m going to say, ‘Hey, I’ll pay you for training, I’m also asking you to do me a favor,’” Schmidt said. “And the favor was to stage the attack.”
"It started by them having a relationship with Mr. Smollett. Mr. Smollett being in a position of power over them — him being this celebrity person who could pull strings for them and help them in their career," Schmidt explained on Tuesday, according to CBS News, suggesting that the brothers agreed to help Smollett stage the attack to ensure that the “Empire” star would continue to help them with their fledgling careers in Hollywood.
One of the brothers was merely an extra on “Empire.”
"They were thinking, I'm going to help my friend. He's asking for this," she concluded.
In other words, the Osundairo brothers might have been risking everything to help Smollett stage the attack and getting far less than $3,500 — any money at all — for it. It might go down as the worst business deal ever.
Schmidt is no longer representing the brothers.
Now Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian is threatening to go after the brothers, who Smollett claims legitimately attacked him as part of a real hate crime, the Associated Press reported. She said investigators should be focusing on them as admitted assailants.
The sealing of the case Wednesday morning has prevented the Chicago Police from granting anymore Freedom of Information Requests and releasing more records, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, according to WGN9.