“Nigerian brothers” sue Smollett attorneys for defamation

Tina Glandian and Jussie Smollett appear in court. | Reasonable Doubt Podcast

Two Lakeview men who police and prosecutors said helped TV star Jussie Smollett stage a bogus hate crime on Jan. 29th have filed a defamation suit against the actor’s Hollywood-based attorneys.

The complaint filed this morning in Chicago’s federal courthouse seeks more than $75,000 each for Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo and Abimbola “Bola” Osundairo from attorneys Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian as well as the Geragos & Geragos Law Firm.

Mark Geragos

Geragos and Glandian are accused of making defamatory public statements against the brothers that were published by local media outlets. Throughout the 16-page filing, lawyers for the Osundairos allege that the comments made by Geragos and Glandian went beyond legal representation as the criminal case against Smollett had been resolved when the actor’s attorneys made the allegedly defamatory claims.

The suit focuses on statements made by Smollett’s legal team after criminal charges were wrapped up in a secretive and controversial emergency court hearing on March 26th.

“Face with an outraged public,” the suit claims, Geragos and Glandian “doubled down” by accusing the Osundairos of leading “a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack” against Smollett.

Geragos and Glandian “made these comments knowing they were untrue to distract from Mr. Smollett’s farce and to promote themselves and the Geragos & Geragos Law Firm,” the suit alleges.

The suit states explicitly that Glandian told a national TV audience that the Osundairos “criminally attacked” Smollett and “may have been wearing ‘whiteface’”  during the purported attack that was implied to be a hate crime.

Glandian’s claims imply that the Osundairos “are guilty of perjuring themselves” before a Cook County grand jury, the suit alleges.

Geragos is also accused of falsely claiming that the Osundairo brothers criminally attacked Smollett.

In an appearance on the “Reasonable Doubt” podcast on April 6th, Glandian allegedly stated that the brothers were involved in “’illegal’ Nigerian steroid trafficking [to]….help clients lose weight.” The Osundairos say that statement against their “all-natural” bodybuilding system is also false and defamatory and was made to “advance Ms. Glandian’s reputation and fame to undoubtedly ruin the Plaintiff’s business.”

During the same podcast appearance, Glandian allegedly implied that Smollet and Bola Osundairo had a sexual relationship. But the brothers say Bola is heterosexual, was dating a woman at the time, and has never engaged in any sexual acts with Smollett.

The allegedly false statements about Bola’s sexuality endangers him and his family members in Nigeria where same-sex sexual activity is socially unacceptable and a criminal offense, the suit claims.

Gloria Schmidt, who represented the brothers during the criminal investigation of the purported attack and subsequent prosecution of Smollett, continues to serve them in the federal case along with attorneys Gregory Kulis and James Tunick, according to the court filing.

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See all of CWBChicago’s previous coverage of the Smollett matter HERE.
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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets.