The two brothers at the center of the Jussie Smollett alleged hate crime case said Thursday they plan to testify against the "Empire" actor. This comes one day after Abel and Ola Osundairo said they wouldn't cooperate with police.
"Yesterday's decision to voluntarily stop cooperating in the prosecution of Jussie Smollett has nothing to do with the veracity of the statements made to police and prosecutors by Abimnola ('Abel') and Olabinjo ('Ola') Osundairo," Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, the attorney for the brothers, told Fox News on Thursday. "The brothers have consistently stood by their statements and testimony and continue to tell the truth about their involvement."
The Osundairo brothers decided to "cease voluntary cooperation" with the police because a "properly registered 9mm handgun" and ammunition inside of a safe was seized by the Chicago Police Department during an earlier raid during the initial investigation in February 2019.
"It's been over a year and they need to give us our stuff back," Abel Osundairo told WBBM-TV on Wednesday. "I would understand if we were defendants in the case, which we are not."
"The missing gun was a reason for Abel and Ola's decision to cease voluntary cooperation, in addition to the unnecessary complication brought to this situation by CPD's Corporate Counsel in treating them like suspects," a statement from Schmidt Rodriguez said. "Abel and Ola will recommence their cooperation in the Smollett case now that the handgun has been produced by the Special Prosecutor's office."
Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report on March 9, 2019, but the charges were all dropped on March 26, 2019.
Former United States Attorney Dan Webb was assigned as a special prosecutor in the Smollett case in August 2019. In February 2020, six new felony charges against the "Empire" actor were announced.
Smollett told Chicago police that two masked men physically attacked him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs as he was walking home after getting food at a Subway restaurant in the early hours of Jan. 29, 2019.
Smollett claims that he was beaten up by the two men, they put a noose around his neck, and poured an unknown chemical substance on him before fleeing. Smollett told police the attackers yelled, "This is MAGA country," a reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan of "Make America Great Again."
The Osundario brothers claim Smollett paid them to attack him in an alleged fake hate crime.
Smollett has pleaded not guilty and maintains that he is innocent.