The tables have turned in the Jussie Smollett case. Brothers, Abel Osundairo and Ola are now unwilling to testify against the Empire actor. Both allege that they were paid $3,500 to jump the actor in what was labeled as both a racist and homophobic attack against him back in January 2019.
Osundairo and Ola originally had intentions to cooperate and testify against Smollett, but according to their lawyer who spoke to Chicago's CBS affiliate, they have changed their minds. The reason being, both feel they are still being treated as suspects and because the police are still holding belongings of theirs as evidence. "It's been over a year and they need to give us our stuff back," Osundairo told the news station. "I would understand if we were defendants in the case, which we are not."
Before officials revealed that Smollett was responsible for orchestrating the attack, the police raided the brothers' home as they returned from a trip to Nigeria. Officers took several possessions of theirs including a 9mm gun and ammunition that belongs to Osundairo — who is also a legal gun owner. The two, at the time, were identified as persons of interest but were released without charges after telling police they were paid to stage the attack. As a result, Smollett was then charged with disorderly conduct, but then had his charges dropped, only to be given more charges in February 2020. The brothers' attorney, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez filed a court motion to have their items returned.
Chicago police have stated that the handgun is being preserved in an evidence locker and that they would cooperate with any court order if the judge were to rule to have the items returned. As for Smollett, starting in March 2019 he was charged with 16 felony indictments for filing a false police report. Then, that report was dropped by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx later that month. This was a move that raised a few eyebrows. Meanwhile, it didn't take long for Smollett to go on national television and tell his side of the story.
However, less than a year later in February, he was indicted again with six new counts for allegedly staging a hate-crime attack against himself. He then pleaded not guilty. The actor had a large role as Jamal Lyon on Empire, but when news broke about his allege attack, his role was cut.