*Jussie Smollett’s attorney has offered an explanation as to why the “Empire” star alleged the two men who attacked him in late January were white males.
Tina Glandian told “Today’s” Savannah Guthrie on Thursday that Smollett believed the two masked men were white because they were possibly wearing white makeup to disguise themselves. The singer previously told police he could make out they had “pale or white skin” around their eyes.
Investigators believe Smollett hired Nigerian-American brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo to help him stage the hate crime but the actor has maintained his innocence. All 16 felony charges against him were dropped on Tuesday.
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Glandian noted that when Smollett was told by police his attackers were the Osundairo brothers, he was shocked, as he knew both from the “Empire” set and one of them served as his personal trainer.
“He did tell police that from what he saw, he thought it was white or pale skin, that’s what he initially said,” Glandian said before adding, “Obviously, you can disguise that. You can put makeup on.”
She then cited a 2016 YouTube video of Abel Osundairo dressed up as the Joker with white makeup on his face.
“There’s a video, it took me all of five minutes when I was looking into the brothers, to of one of the brothers in whiteface doing the Joker monologue,” Glandian explained.
When asked if Smollett wants the brothers arrested for their role in his assault, Glandian said the actor wants to “move on.”
“I think in light of what he’s been through the last two months, he really, just you know, he’s told me numerous times, ‘I don’t even care what happened, I want to move on,'” Glandian told Guthrie.
“What that attack was pales in comparison to the attack on him by the mayor, by the CPD, by the press, by the public,” she shared.
“What he’s been through after the fact has really been a much harsher attack than what he endured that night.”
Glandian also addressed Trump’s announcement that there will be a federal investigation into why Smollett’s charges were dropped, noting that she nor her client are concerned about it because “to my knowledge, nothing improper was done.”
She then addressed reports of Smollett’s friends or family members having secret discussions with state attorney Kim Foxx, who recused herself from the case.
“No, the discussions [we had] were strictly with the prosecutors who were actually reviewing the case.”
Glandian also denied Smollett being behind the threatening, homophobic and racist letters reportedly sent to the “Empire” set. “He had nothing to do with the letter,” she said.
Finally, Glandian discussed her client’s decision to forfeit his $10,000 bond and perform community service as part of his deal.
“There were no conditions and obviously there was no plea, there was no agreement in place,” Glandian said of Smollett’s charges being dropped. “[The prosecution wanted Smollett] to forfeit the bond and that’s something we discussed with him and he initially struggled with because he didn’t want the perception to be that he had done anything wrong. But at the end of the day, forfeiting $10,000 versus putting your life on hold for a year is a small price to pay.”