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Jussie Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, on Thursday made an appearance on NBC’s Today, where she opened up to Savannah Guthrie about her client’s mindset after prosecutors decided to drop all charges against the Empire star.
Glandian also suggested that the Osundairo brothers, two Nigerian men who claim Smollett hired them to stage a hate crime in Chicago in January, may have been wearing “whiteface” during the incident. Smollett previously claimed to police that he believed his attackers — who he said hurled racist and homophobic insults at him during the incident — were white and Trump supporters.
“He only saw one of the attackers. One of them he didn’t see. He saw one through a ski mask,” Glandian said. “Again, he could not see their body. Everything was covered, and he had a full ski mask on except the area around the eyes.”
She added, “He did tell police that he — from what we saw, he thought it was pale skin or white or pale skin, was I think what he said. And that was what he — and that’s why he initially did have a hard time.”
Glandian also said that she believes the Osundairo brothers have previously worn whiteface. “Well, you know, I mean, I think there’s — obviously, you can disguise that. You can put makeup on. There is, interestingly enough, a video,” she told Guthrie. “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 whiteface doing a Joker monologue with white makeup on him. So it’s not — it’s not implausible.”
The Osundairo brothers were expected to testify against Smollett for allegedly paying them to act out the attack. But after the actor’s charges were dropped by a Cook County prosecutor earlier this week, the two have retreated and will no longer fight Smollett’s account.
According to Glandian, neither she nor Smollett are concerned that the FBI and Department of Justice are reviewing the case after President Donald Trump called the dismissal of the charges “an embarrassment to our Nation!”
“We have nothing to be concerned about because there was nothing on our end to request this or do anything improper,” Glandian told Guthrie. “And, to my knowledge, nothing improper was done.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday said the city plans on billing Smollett for the police investigation into his January report of a hate crime. “The police are right now finalizing the cost that was used, police resources, to come to the understanding this was a hoax and not a real hate crime,” Emanuel said in part on WGN Radio, according to the Chicago Tribune. “What we spent. The corporation counsel, once they have it finalized and feel good about the numbers, will then send a letter to Jussie Smollett and his attorneys, trying to recoup those costs for the city.”
Smollett was accused of orchestrating the Jan. 29 attack. Police said he did so to further his acting career. He was initially charged with disorderly conduct via the class 4 felony false report allegation and later indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly lying to authorities about the attack. Smollett and his lawyers vehemently maintain his innocence.
Glandian said on Today that Smollett has told her, “I just want to move on after the fact.” She explained, “What that attack was pales in comparison to the attack on him by the mayor, by the CPD, by the press, by the public. … He at this point again has been victimized much more by what’s happened afterwards than what happened that night.”
Watch Glandian’s Today interview, below.
“He at this point again has been victimized much more by what’s happened afterwards than what happened that night.”
Watch @SavannahGuthrie‘s full interview with Jussie Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian. pic.twitter.com/JY2ZYHYkVU
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 28, 2019
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