The events of Jan. 29 continue to make national headlines, stemming from the highly publicized and scrutinized incident in which "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett claimed he was a victim in a racist and homophobic attack. After being accused of orchestrating his own assault and later having all outstanding charges against him dropped, Smollett is now being sued by the city of Chicago over investigative costs.
On top of that, another new lawsuit has surfaced. This time, the two brothers who were involved in the alleged hoax, Ola and Abel Osundairo, are now suing the "Empire" actor's lawyers for defamation.
As reported by CBS, the brothers are accusing Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian of falsely accusing them of an actual hate crime.
While prosecutors agreed to drop the charges against Smollett, who had been previously accused of paying the Osundairo brothers $3,500 to help stage the attack, the actor's legal team has maintained that the pair actually carried out an attack on Smollett.
According to the lawsuit, the brothers claim that Smollett "directed" the attack, with the intention of getting "his employer and the public to notice and appreciate him as a successful black, openly gay actor. So, Mr. Smollett directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose."
While the brothers' attorneys have since acknowledged the role they played in the hoax, they claim they only did so because Smollett paid them. Although Smollett has been cleared of all charges and the brothers have not been charged with any crimes for their involvement in the situation, the actor's legal team has called for investigators to more closely examine their alleged role.
"Defendants made these comments knowing they were untrue to distract from Mr. Smollett's farce and to promote themselves and the Geragos & Geragos Law Firm," the lawsuit claims. "Statements indicating Plaintiffs actually criminally battered Mr. Smollett without his consent are patently false and defamatory, as Mr. Smollett originated, planned, and orchestrated the attack."
The brothers' lawsuit claims that Smollett's attorneys repeatedly made false attacks on them in the media after the charges had been dropped against their client, including that the brothers may have been wearing "whiteface" during the attack, which is why Smollett may have told police his attackers were white.
The lawsuit, which is seeking unspecified damages, claims Glandian's and Geragos' statements "have caused considerable damage to Plaintiffs' careers, as they have lost talent agent contracts and career opportunities."
Smollett's attorneys issued a statement commenting on the new suit.
"At first we thought this comical legal document was a parody. Instead this so-called lawsuit by the brothers is more of their lawyer driven nonsense, and a desperate attempt for them to stay relevant and further profit from an attack they admit they perpetrated," the joint statement reads. "While we know this ridiculous lawsuit will soon be dismissed because it lacks any legal footing, we look forward to exposing the fraud the Osundairo brothers and their attorneys have committed on the public."
More on this story as it develops.