UPDATED 2019/03/01 3:00PM
Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, the two brothers involved in what police are calling a staged hate crime against Empire actor Jussie Smollett have issued a public apology through their lawyer saying that they have “tremendous regret” for their part in the situation.
The brothers were initially arrested as suspected attackers after Smollett reported that he was attacked by two men who shouted homophobic and racial slurs, doused him with bleach and left a noose around his neck. Police now believe that Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to stage the crime “because he was dissatisfied with his salary.” Smollett is charged with felony disorderly conduct.
Attorney Gloria Schmidt said in a statement, “My clients have tremendous regret over their involvement in this situation, and they understand how it has impacted people across the nation, particularly minority communities and especially those who have been victims of hate crimes themselves.”