Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo claim the morning they prepared to allegedly help actor Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself in 2019, he didn’t show up on time.
“We made sure we got there at 2 a.m. sharp. We had no phones because he did not want us to bring any phones,” Abimbola alleged.
“So 2 a.m., he was nowhere to be found. He was not there, so we were like, ‘Damn, what do we do?’ We didn’t have no way of contacting him. He had no way of contacting us. So we waited here for about … four minutes.”
Olabinjo chimed in: “But it felt like forever.”
“Because it was cold as b—s. So I saw him out the corner of my eye,” Abimbola recalled. “And I was like, ‘OK, that’s him. Let’s go.’”
The Osundairo brothers returned to the posh Chicago block for the first time since that chilly January 2019 morning for the five-part docuseries “Jussie Smollett: Anatomy of a Hoax,” streaming Monday on FOX Nation.
In their first extensive interview since testifying at Smollett’s trial in 2021, the brothers share “exclusive” details of their alleged roles in the made-for-TV drama that captured international headlines for years. Their attorney, Gloria V. Rodriguez, is listed as an executive producer of the docuseries.
“As we cross the street, we said, ‘Hey,’ to get his attention. ‘Hey, n—–.’ He turned around, looked at us, and that’s when we started yelling the famous slurs he wanted us to yell. ‘Hey, aren’t you that ‘Empire’ f—-t?’” the Osundairo brothers claimed to the camera crew in tow.
“We started tussling, moving around, and then I pull him to the ground,” Abimbola said of Smollett, 40. “He wanted it to look like he fought back. That was very important for him because he said, ‘Hey, don’t just beat my ass. Make it look like I’m fighting back and whatnot.’”
Smollett — who has long proclaimed his innocence — didn’t participate in the project, which arrives nearly two weeks after he filed an appeal challenging his 2021 disorderly conduct conviction and requesting a new trial.
The Post reached out to a Smollett attorney for comment.
The FOX Nation special rehashes the rise and fall of the openly gay actor, who had been starring in the hit FOX drama “Empire” — which followed the exploits of a cutthroat music mogul and his talented family — for four years at the time of the incident.
Smollett reported being assaulted while walking back to his high-rise from a Subway restaurant. He said his attackers yelled slurs at him, declared Chicago is “MAGA country,” hit him, poured a chemical substance on him and hung a noose around his neck.
As police continued to investigate, Smollett sat down with “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts to share his version of the confrontation two weeks later.
He said without “any doubt in my mind” the surveillance image that police released of two persons of interest in dark clothes were the so-called perpetrators.
Eddie Johnson — who served as Chicago police superintendent from 2016 to 2019 — admitted in the docuseries that police actually had a “better photo” of the suspects than the grainy one they initially shared, but feared inciting “angst” among Chicago’s black and gay community.
“So now in full disclosure, I can say this, the reason why we wouldn’t let them put it out was because it did have a … red baseball cap,” Johnson, 62, explained of the photo.
“I didn’t want people to focus on that because it would cause more angst. So now that next day when everybody finds out about it, do you think we would have had some issues in the city? Yeah, we would have.”
Within days, police determined the men were the Osundairo brothers, small-time actors who had worked as background players on “Empire.” Officers met them at O’Hare International Airport when they returned from a trip to Nigeria.
In the docuseries, Abimbola recalled the uneasy feelings he experienced on the plane while replaying in his mind the information police had released to the media about the case.
“Two big a-s police officers came up. I went with them. I was like, ‘Damn, it’s over with. They got me,’” Abimbola described of arriving at the Chicago airport.
“It was like a movie itself,” Olabinjo said.
The brothers eventually decided to cooperate with police, and Smollett was hit with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report. He was accused of orchestrating a phony hoax to boost his music and acting career as “Empire” waned in popularity.
But in a shocking move, less than three weeks later, the charges were dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office after Smollett performed community service and forfeited his $10,000 bond to the city of Chicago.
Johnson said in the docuseries that he was at a police recruit and promotion ceremony with then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel when he heard the surprising development.
“He was like, ‘Supe, how the f–k did this s–t happen?’” Johnson recalled of Emanuel’s alleged response to the news. “He said, ‘I know [Foxx] and I don’t have the best relationship, but you and her talk all the time. Did you know?’ And I said, ‘I didn’t have a clue.’”
The Post reached out to a rep for Emanuel, now the U.S. ambassador to Japan, for comment.
Smollett held a brief press briefing after the charges were officially dropped. Johnson accused Smollett of “gloating” in his remarks, which “reinvigorated everybody.”
“After I saw that press conference, I called the mayor. I said, ‘You know what? Game on,’” Johnson remembered in the docuseries.
Foxx, 50, had recused herself from the investigation after it surfaced she had been in touch with Smollett’s family. Those interviewed for the FOX Nation special speculated about political and celebrity motivations behind her office’s handling of the case.
“In the beginning, [Foxx and I] were in lockstep with this thing. I do think, however, something occurred. Now what that something is, I really couldn’t say,” Johnson said in the docuseries, before adding, “What those reasons are, I don’t think we’ll ever really know.”
Foxx did not participate in the project. A spokesperson told The Post her office “is not aware of a request from Fox Nation to participate in a documentary regarding Jussie Smollett. Additionally, we are unable to comment on this matter as it remains pending litigation being handled by a special prosecutor.”
In the summer of 2019, a judge appointed a special prosecutor to look into why the state’s attorney’s office abruptly dropped the case. Smollett was indicted on six counts of disorderly conduct in early 2020.
The Osundairo brothers, who testified during the trial late in 2021, use the FOX Nation special to continue to set the record straight about claims they tried to extort Smollett for $1 million each to keep quiet and allegations of a rumored sexual relationship between Abimbola and Smollett.
Smollett’s defense team painted Olabinjo as a homophobe and Abimbola as a disgruntled ex-lover.
“When he actually said it in person at the courthouse that, yeah, we touched, we masturbated, we kissed,” Abimbola recounted of Smollett in the docuseries. “I was like, get down, really? You going to really lie like that, man?”
The brothers allege in the special they have not been paid the $500 they say they were owed upon successful completion of their mission to garner Smollett media attention that crisp morning in 2019, in addition to the $3,500 check they did receive. (Smollett has long claimed the money was for a workout/nutrition plan.)
Following Smollett’s arrest, his character disappeared from “Empire” before the series unceremoniously ended in 2020. He made his feature directorial debut with “B-Boy Blues,” which premiered at the 2021 American Black Film Festival.
Weeks later, in December 2021, a jury found Smollett guilty of five of the six disorderly conduct counts.
He was sentenced in March 2022 to 150 days in jail. He once again declared his innocence, bizarrely emphasizing he was not suicidal in a brief, but memorable monologue delivered to a stunned courtroom.
Footage from the FOX Nation special follows him starting his sentence by changing into drab jailhouse garb.
“You’re in safe hands,” a member of the emergency response team assures Smollett.
He served six days in Cook County Jail before he was released pending appeal.
His latest appeal, filed this month, claims his double jeopardy rights were violated because the initial charges against him were dropped, and argues the trial judge was biased.
“I 100% believe that Jussie will be able to rebound from this situation,” Abimbola said as he reflected on the four-year drama. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he was thinking about running for political office.”
“This is America,” Olabinjo concluded, “anything is possible.”
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