Abimbola Osundairo, the Nigerian-American boxer, has detailed the events behind the staged attack on Jussie Smollett, the US actor. 


On January 29, 2019, Smollett told police that he was attacked outside his apartment by two men who poured an unknown liquid on him and called him inciting names while putting a noose on his neck.

Police later traced the attack to Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, his brother, who confessed that Smollett had paid them to stage the attack.

In December 2021, Smollett was convicted of five felony counts of disorderly conduct. He was sentenced in March 2022 to 150 days in county jail.


The Osundairo brothers also filed a lawsuit, accusing Smollett’s attorneys of staining their reputations in a bid to salvage the actor’s image.

Revisiting the incident on the WithChude podcast, Abimbola said Smollett had asked him and his brother on January 26, 2019, to beat him up.

He insinuated that the film star might have come up with the plan due to the “abusive letter” he claimed to have received from an anonymous person — who sent it (the letter) to the Empire Studios.


Abimbola also alleged that the ‘Empire’ star staged the attack to attract public sympathy and to strengthen his “political ambition and activism”.

“He was a good friend of mine. We were friends for about three to four years. And he trusted me. He confided in me. So he asked me to beat him up randomly and that is confusing. So we were driving in his car. He was driving me home and then he said ‘I want you to beat me up’. That is something that no one has ever said,” he said.

“He was smoking weed and I was like maybe he was just high. So then he explained what he wanted me to do. And then he mentioned that he needed someone else to help me do it. I said my brother would do it. He told my brother. And that is how we got to where we are now. It was not elaborately planned.

“The first day, he told us about it was on January 26th. We did the fake attack on the 29th. It was a quick turnaround.


“A week before, they sent him a letter (like to Empire) saying “Dying Empire fa***t n***a. Like him hanging on a tree and a gun being pointed at his head. I think that led him to concoct this whole plan. I do not know if he sent himself the letter though. He never told me.

“He is an activist and that is why he wanted to do all of that. He mentioned that the studio was not taking the letter that he got seriously.

“We agreed to do it because in acting and in life it is who you know. At the time, Empire was a big successful show. So knowing him, being cool, and rubbing shoulders with him can help me move forward, up in that industry because acting is very competitive.

“I think he has an aspiration of a political figure. It would be a stain on his legacy.”



Abimbola said the situation went south after Smollett “double-crossed” them by informing the police about the matter.

He added that the actor “never mentioned calling the police” when they were making plans to stage his attack.

“Things fell apart when he got too greedy. It was supposed to be for social media. Give it to blogs and they post it,” he said.


“The vital mistake he made which made it criminal and we got into trouble was that he now called the police. He was not supposed to call the police. That was what made it a crime. Calling the police and giving them a false testimony, lying to them.

“He never mentioned calling the police.”

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