On January 29, 2019, African-American movie star, Jussie Smollett, was reportedly a victim of a homophobic attack in Chicago. However, there have been claims that the actor might have staged the attack.
According to Daily Mail, Smollett has faced allegations that he might have staged the incident to save his role in popular series, Empire, because he was reportedly being written off the show.
There have been reports that two Nigerian brothers, Abimbola 'Abel' and Olabinjo 'Ola' Osundairo might have been paid off by Smollett to stage the attack.
The brothers were arrested on February 13, 2019, in connection to the case. They were picked up at the airport in Chicago after they arrived from Nigeria where they had gone to spend some time with their family.
Abel and Ola are said to be friends with Smollett and that they sometimes work out together at the gym.
Interestingly the brothers have been released with no charges as the police revealed there is now new evidence. Smollett has also vehemently denied paying the two brothers $3,500 to attack him.
His lawyers, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, disclosed to Entertainment Weekly that the star is now being victimised over the false allegations of him staging the incident. They also added that one of the brothers was Smollett’s trainer for a music video.
They said: “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.
"He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.'
"One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video."
"It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity."
Meanwhile after the news of the attack hit social media, some Nigerian celebs took to consoling the star including Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh.
Tonto preached love as she explained that people should not be attacked for loving differently. She also sent love and light the actor's way.
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