In a bid to exonerate their client, Jussie Smollett’s legal team is arguing that the actor’s friends, Abimbola and Olabinjor Osundairo — two brothers of Nigerian descent — committed the anti-black “hate crime.”
But why would two black men commit a racist hate crime against another black man?
One of Smollett’s attorneys, Patricia Brown Holmes, said she has “no idea what the motive is.”
“I’m not the prosecutor in the case,” Holmes told CNN. “ I have no idea why or what the motive would be behind a situation like this. We don’t know. There’s just no — it doesn’t make sense that Jussie has to be the one to come up with an answer to why someone attacked him.”
Another Smollett attorney, Tina Glandian, said she has a “theory” for the brothers’ motive but is declining to share it.
“It’d be speculating at this time, and I don’t want to go on record right now and give my own theory of the case,” Glandian told The TODAY Show. “I do have a theory. You know, it is speculation.”
In the same interview, Glandian attempted to explain how two black men could have committed this alleged crime if her client originally said his attackers were white. Smollett’s attorney said that they may have worn “whiteface” during the attack, and then mocked the Chicago Police Department for not looking into this possibility.
“Obviously, you can disguise” your skin color, Glandian said. “You can put makeup on. There is, interestingly enough, a video. You know, I think police had minimal investigation in this case, it took me only five minutes to Google. You know, I was looking up the brothers, and one of the videos that showed up actually was of the brothers in white face doing a joker monologue with white make up on him. So, it’s not — it’s not implausible.”
Smollett’s legal team is leaving open the possibility of suing the Chicago Police Department, although they said they will not bring charges against the Osundairo brothers because Jussie “wants to move on.”
“We’re weighing our options now,” Glandian said regarding suing the Chicago PD. “For Jussie what’s important is, he really just wants his career and his life back. Again, he did not ask for any of this. He was a victim of a crime. This has completely spiraled out of control and become a political event at this point, and his goal and focus right now is just getting his life back on track. He’s not even started healing from the initial attack because he’s been dealing with everything what’s happened since then.”
“We’re shocked at the mayor and the police superintendent doubling down yesterday when the prosecutor after a dispassion look at the evidence realized that it does not hold up and chose to voluntarily dismiss all counts and expunge his record,” Glandian continued. “So at this point we’re going to weigh our options and see — and see how this develops.”
Unlike the Chicago PD, Smollett’s legal team says it won’t pursue legal action against the Nigerian brothers, despite their insistence they committed the violent hate crime.
“In light of what he has been through the last two months, he really just — you know, he’s told me numerous times, I don’t even care about what happened,” she said. “I just want to move on. I mean, what’s happened after the fact … What that attack was pales in comparison to the attack on him by the mayor, by the CPD, by the press, by the public.”