Lawyers for the US actor Jussie Smollett have said the actor has denied paying 2 Nigerian brothers to attack him last month.
Their statement came after it was reported in news media that police believed the actor may have staged the attack, which reportedly happened on January 29th, on himself.
There have been reports that the two Nigerian brothers, Abimbola Abel and Olabinjo Ola Osundairo might have been paid off by Smollett to stage the attack.
The brothers were arrested on February 13, 2019, in connection to the case.
They were picked up at the airport in Chicago after they arrived from Nigeria where they had gone to spend some time with their family.
However in their reaction, his lawyers Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said:
“Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,”
“He has now been further victimised by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
One of the brothers is Smollett’s personal trainer, and the lawyers said it was “impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity”.