The Jussie Smollett case continues to get crazier and crazier, weirder and weirder.
By the minute, it often seems.
In the latest hilarious/disturbing/eye-roll-inducing development resulting from this saga, Smollett's attorney, Tina Glandian, sat across from Savannah Gurthrie on The Today Show Thursday morning.
The lawyer did her best to address several inconsistencies with her client's story, such as the fact that he has claimed from the outset that two white men attacked him early on the morning of January 29.
And yet... two African-Americans are the only suspects.
They're Nigerian brothers named Abel and Ola Osundairo and they have multiple connections to Smollett:
- They worked as extras on Empire.
- They personally trained Smollett.
There are also text messages sent between Smollett and Abel on record, as well as phone calls the day of the supposed attack; a check made out to Abel in the amount of $3,500; and surveillance footage of the brothers purchasing rope and other supplies at a store on the day of the supposed attack.
Here's a photo of the muscular men:
So... how does Glandian explain this away?
How could Smollett have said two white men beat him up, when it appears to have been two black men he actually knows?
"He only saw one of the attackers," the attorney told Guthrie, adding:
"One of them he didn't see. He saw one through a ski mask. Again, he could not see their body. Everything was covered, and he had a full ski mask on except the area around the eyes."
She continued of what Smollett told the cops:
"He did tell police that he... from what we saw, he thought it was pale skin or white or pale skin, was I think what he said. And that was what he... and that's why he initially did have a hard time."
Abel and Ola have not said anything since the charges against Smollett were dropped.
Their lawyer allegedly resigned after they refused to come forward and confirm that Smollett hired them to stage the attack.
On Today, meanwhile, Glandian offered up another incredible defense for why her client told police he was assaulted by Caucasians.
"Well, you know, I mean, I think there's – obviously, you can disguise that," she said of the brothers' race. "You can put makeup on."
Shen then pointed to a YouTube video from 2016 in which Abel Osundairo puts on white makeup to perform the Joker monologue.
Here is a still image of the suspect in whiteface from that footage:
"I think police had minimal investigation in this case, it took me only five minutes to Google," said the attorney.
"You know, I was looking up the brothers, and one of the videos that showed up actually was of the brothers in whiteface doing a joker monologue with white makeup on him.
"So, it's not - it's not implausible."
Okay. We guess.
From there, Guthrie asked why Smollett did not recognize the Osundairos' voices after allegedly having hung up the phone with them just moments earlier, based on official record, to which Glandian replied:
"I mean, this was a very brief interaction.
"Before you can even process what they look like, you've been punched in the face. And now next thing you're on the floor and you're being kicked...
"And so, this isn't somebody who’s digesting what's happening. I mean, there's excitement and fear and all of these things happening."
Glandian went on to say that Smollett has no interest in pressing charges against these suspects -- which sounds downright insane and bizarre.
He's claiming they beat him up, tied a rope around his neck, yelled racial and anti-gay slurs at him and poured bleach all over him? And he's looking to clear his name?
And yet he doesn't want to press charges?!?!?!?
That is questionable AF.
Smollett's lawyer also says Jussie is more upset about the reaction to his charges being dropped than about this supposedly heinous assault.
Smollett is especially hurt by the way the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, and the Chicago Police Department slammed and trashed him as guilty... even after the state's attorney office let him walk free.
Emanuel referred to this decision as a "whitewash of justice," adding of Smollett:
You have a person using hate crime laws that are on the books to protect people who are minorities from violence to then turn around and use those laws to advance your career and your financial reward.
Is there no decency in this man?
"It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie - owe him an apology - for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud. Jussie has paid enough," Smollett's legal team's have now said in a statement.