If the Jussie Smollett case isn’t the biggest story of 2019 thus far, it’s definitely the wildest. Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts of lying to police tied to the alleged racist and homophobic attack originally reported in January.
11 days after the reported attack, Chicago Police arrested Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo in connection with the case, one of whom appeared on an episode of Empire back in 2015. On February 20, Smollett became a suspect and was indicted on March 19 on the 16 felony counts.
There were reports that the attacked was staged, along with the brothers. In Smollett’s original statement, he said that he thought one of the attackers was white because of the racial slurs and “MAGA” language used during the attack. Now, days after the charges were dropped, Smollett’s lawyer, Tina Glandian, said that one of the brothers may have been wearing white face in an interview with USA Today.
“Just to be clear, he only saw one of the attackers, one of them he didn’t see. He saw one through a ski mask,” Glandian said. “Again, he could not see their body. Everything was covered, and he had a full ski mask on except the area around the eyes. 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’s why he initially did have a hard time.”
“Well, you know, I mean, I think there’s — obviously, you can disguise that. You can put makeup on. There is actually, interestingly enough, a video. You know, I think police had minimal investigation in this case, it took me only five minutes to Google,” she continued. “You know, I was looking up the brothers, and one of the first 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.”
It’s becoming more clear with each passing day that we’re likely never going to know the full story. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle of everyone’s side of the story. We’ve gotten weird twists from Smollett’s alleged attackers, the Chicago PD, his lawyer and Smollett himself.