Smollett’s Lawyer Explains Why He Mistook Attackers for Trump Supporters: Whiteface

“Obviously, you can disguise that. You can put make-up on.”

One of the attorneys for beleaguered actor Jussie Smollett said Thursday it’s possible her client may have thought the Nigerian men who allegedly attacked him had white skin because they were wearing makeup.

In an interview with “Today’s” Savannah Guthrie, Tina Glandian claimed that Smollett did not recognize Abel and Ola Osundairo, even though the actor was well-acquainted with the Nigerian brothers, when they attacked him.

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According to Glandian, Smollett was in shock when he learned the two were in custody, claiming his attackers had “pale or white skin” under their ski masks.

Glandian insisted Smollett was not lying, and theorized the attackers may have been wearing disguises.

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“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. “Obviously, you can disguise that. You can put makeup on.”

Glandian went on to reference a 2016 YouTube video of Abel Osundairo, in which he is wearing white make-up while performing a Joker monologue, as evidence to support her theory.

“There’s a video, – it took me all of five minutes when I was looking into the brothers – of one of the brothers in whiteface doing the Joker monologue,” Glandian said.

Glandian said she has her own theories on why the brothers decided to attack Smollett, but refused to speculate.

The Osundairo brothers told police Smollett paid them to stage the attack.

At one point during the interview, Glandian wondered whether the brothers were even responsible for the attack at all.


“When you say it’s undisputed, we’ve actually, there’s been more info leaked than we have actually received from the prosecution in this case, which is a little absurd,” she said.

“When you say, ‘we know,’ – we believe that. But a lot of the information that the CPD has put out there has turned out not to be evidence. So we do have to question it,” she continued.

Patricia Brown Holmes, an attorney who also represents Smollett, told reporters Tuesday that it was indeed the Osundairo brothers who attacked her client. Smollett also said as much during a February appearance on “Good Morning America.”

Charges against Smollett were dropped at a Tuesday court hearing in an unexpected move by prosecutors.

Smollett, 36, black and gay former star of Fox’s “Empire” TV show, reported to the Chicago Police Department on Jan. 29 that he was assaulted by two masked men who called him racist and homophobic slurs and shouted “This is ‘MAGA’ country!” He said his assailants poured what he believed was bleach on him and put a noose around his neck.

Police at first investigated the incident as a possible hate crime, and many other celebrities, activists, politicians, and journalists rushed to condemn not just the attackers but the supposed state of Trump’s America.

In February, Smollett was arrested and charged with staging the crime in an apparent effort to garner attention and sympathy. Fox would cut ties with the actor shortly after, removing him from the final two episodes of the season.

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