Jussie Smollett Check to Osundairo Brothers Confirmed to Be Payment for Training

The twists and turns in the Jussie Smollett case continue, as the Osundairo brothers now confirm that he paid them for a training program, not a staged attack.

The Chicago Police Department has accused Smollett of staging a hate crime against himself to bolster his career, which he continues to deny. Many people accepted the department's case against Smollett, as it seemed strong at first. According to a new report by Good Morning America, however, two key figures are now disputing one of the biggest pieces of evidence.

The police claimed that Smollett wrote a $3,500 check to Ola and Abel Osundairo as payment for the staged attack against him in January. However, their lawyer, Gloria Schmidt, spoke on their behalf on Monday, explaining that the check really was payment for training. The Empire star reportedly admired the brothers' dedication to fitness, and paid top dollar for a personal training and a nutrition program to help him reach their level.

"They were paid for the training," Schmidt said on ABC's Good Morning America. "I mean, they were training together, so they were paid for that. But they were also asked to do this favor for him. Unbeknownst to them, because obviously this later turned out to be a big betrayal of them."

When asked to specify whether the money was intended for the staged fight or the training, Schimdt admitted that it was a strange thing to define. However, ultimately she says the brothers saw the money as payment for the training, and the attack as a "favor," completely separate.

"It would be such an easy narrative to just say it that way, but it's unfortunately a very complicated relationship for them. If you're friends, and I say 'hey, I'm going to pay you for training,' and I'm also asking you to do me a favor... And the favor was to stage the attack."

This new interview comes in direct contrast with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson's earlier statements. In a news conference, Johnson attributed Smollett's payment directly to the attack.


"Smollet paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process," he said, according to TMZ.

Separating the money from the attack may hurt the department's case, and could take away one of their key pieces of evidence. Experts expect Smollett's lawyer, Mark Geragos, to raise this question with Johnson if the case does go to trial.