The Latest: Smollett's attorneys call lawsuit 'ridiculous'

 
 
Updated 4/23/2019 1:52 PM
hello
  • Gloria Schmidt, right, a lawyer for  Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself, listens to questions with attorneys Gregory Kulis, left, and James Tunick during a news conference Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Chicago. The brothers are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation. The federal lawsuit names Mark Geragos and his law firm as defendants and that they continued to say publicly that the brothers "led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett," even though they knew it wasn't true.

    Gloria Schmidt, right, a lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself, listens to questions with attorneys Gregory Kulis, left, and James Tunick during a news conference Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Chicago. The brothers are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation. The federal lawsuit names Mark Geragos and his law firm as defendants and that they continued to say publicly that the brothers "led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett," even though they knew it wasn't true. Associated Press

  • FILE - This Sept. 2, 2016 file photo shows attorney Mark Geragos talking to the media during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles. Two brothers who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys including Geragos, for defamation. A lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday April 23, 2019, in Chicago.

    FILE - This Sept. 2, 2016 file photo shows attorney Mark Geragos talking to the media during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles. Two brothers who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys including Geragos, for defamation. A lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday April 23, 2019, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this March 26, 2019, file photo, actor Jussie Smollett smiles and waves to supporters before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped in Chicago. Two brothers, Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who said they helped Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation. A lawyer for the brothers filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday, April 23, in Chicago.

    FILE - In this March 26, 2019, file photo, actor Jussie Smollett smiles and waves to supporters before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped in Chicago. Two brothers, Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who said they helped Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation. A lawyer for the brothers filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday, April 23, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Gloria Schmidt, a lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Chicago. The brothers are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation. The federal lawsuit names Mark Geragos and his law firm as defendants and that they continued to say publicly that the brothers "led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett," even though they knew it wasn't true.

    Gloria Schmidt, a lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Chicago. The brothers are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation. The federal lawsuit names Mark Geragos and his law firm as defendants and that they continued to say publicly that the brothers "led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett," even though they knew it wasn't true. Associated Press

  • Gloria Schmidt, a lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Chicago. The brothers are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation. The federal lawsuit names Mark Geragos and his law firm as defendants and that they continued to say publicly that the brothers "led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett," even though they knew it wasn't true.

    Gloria Schmidt, a lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Chicago. The brothers are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation. The federal lawsuit names Mark Geragos and his law firm as defendants and that they continued to say publicly that the brothers "led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett," even though they knew it wasn't true. Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Latest on a lawsuit filed against Jussie Smollett's attorneys (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Jussie Smollett's attorneys say a lawsuit accusing them of defaming two brothers who say they helped the "Empire" actor stage an attack against himself is "ridiculous."

Attorneys Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian say they initially thought the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by lawyers for Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo was a parody and that they view it as "comical" and "lawyer driven nonsense."

The brothers accuse Smollett's attorneys of defamation by continuing to assert that they carried out a real and bigoted attack against Smollett despite knowing that's not true.

Geragos and Glandian say they think the lawsuit will be dismissed because it "lacks any legal footing." They also say they "look forward to exposing the fraud the Osundairo brothers and their attorneys have committed on the public."

Police allege that Smollett paid the brothers to help him stage the Jan. 29 attack in downtown Chicago. Smollett maintains that he was really attacked.

___

10:55 a.m.

Two brothers who allege that they helped Jussie Smollett stage an attack on himself say they are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for spreading lies that are destroying the brothers' character and reputations.

Attorneys for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo held a news conference Tuesday after filing the defamation lawsuit against Smollett's attorney, Mark Geragos, and his law firm. The brothers didn't appear at the news conference but said in a statement that they "have sat back and watched lie after lie being fabricated" about them. Their attorneys say the pair can't get jobs and are having trouble making ends meet.

One of their attorneys, Gloria Schmidt, says the Osundairos have already apologized for their role in the Smollett case.

The lawsuit alleges that Smollett's attorneys say the Osundairo brothers carried out a real, bigoted attack on the actor, even though they know that isn't true.

___

9:55 a.m.

Two brothers who said they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself are suing the "Empire" actor's attorneys for defamation.

A lawyer for Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday in Chicago on behalf of the brothers. It names Mark Geragos and his law firm as defendants.

The suit alleges that Geragos and his firm continued to say publicly in widely reported statements that the brothers "led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett," even though they knew that wasn't true.

Police allege that Smollett paid the brothers to help him stage a Jan. 29 attack in which he said two masked men beat him, hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, doused him with some sort of chemical substance and looped a rope around his neck.

Smollett, who is black and gay, maintains that the attack wasn't staged.

___

12:05 a.m.

Chicago's top prosecutor drew heavy criticism after she recused herself from the case against Jussie Smollett and then complained in text messages to a subordinate that her office had overcharged the "Empire" actor.

But anyone who has followed Kim Foxx's work recognized in the texts the same reforms she's tried for years to implement. Those changes include not overcharging for nonviolent crimes and offering alternatives to taking a suspect to court.

Anger about the decision has also resulted in threats of physical harm to the prosecutor. Chief of staff Jennifer Ballard Croft told the Chicago Sun-Times the threatening messages came in the form of emails and calls, with some containing "racially-charged language."

Critically, dropping the charges could undermine Foxx's efforts to overhaul the nation's second-largest district attorney's office. For decades, it has been seen as too aggressive and reliant on abusive police practices.

___

Check out the AP's complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.