The year kicked off with one of the most bizarre stories in recent memory. In February, reports surfaced about Empire actor Jussie Smollett allegedly being attacked by a pair of men for reasons stemming from his race and sexual orientation.
Things quickly escalated from there, with reports coming out saying that Smollett staged the attack and paid a pair of brothers to help him out, hoping to gain national sympathy and more airtime on Empire.
The brothers were arrested at one point for the attack, and Smollett was arrested himself at one point for falsifying police claims. Ultimately, all charges were dropped as Chicago PD did not have enough evidence to prove what happened either way.
Over the weekend, one of the brothers involved in the alleged attack, Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo, won Chicago’s biggest amateur boxing competition. Osundairo was competing in the senior novice division, which contains inexperienced fighters under 178 lbs, and won the Golden Gloves championship by way of TKO.
Following Osundario’s victory, he did not want to answer any questions that weren’t about the match. According to Stephanie Walsh, Osundario was training five days a week for the match and had support in the crowd from his family and friends.
One of the key points of the Smollett case was a check written by the Empire actor to the brothers, which was later revealed to be for personal training. Since the case, the Osundario brothers’ personal training business has blown up quite a bit, with people contacting them about fitness and diet programs.
While Smollett will never receive any jail time for the 16 felony charges against him, the city of Chicago is suing him for $130,000 for costs that went into investigating his case. Kim Foxx, the prosecutor who dropped the charges, made it clear that Smollett wasn’t exonerated or declared innocent, but the charges were dropped because the details of the case “made securing a conviction against Smollett uncertain.”