Brothers in Smollett case say they have 'tremendous regret'

Jussie Smollett Dennis Graham and R. Kelly

Jussie Smollett Dennis Graham and R. Kelly

He's now facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct and looking at up to three years in prison.

Brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, who say Empire actor Jussie Smollett hired them to fake a hate crime attack, are speaking out through their attorneys.

The attorney for Abimbola "Abel" and Olabinjo "Ola" told CBS Chicago that the pair feels "tremendous regret" for the entire fiasco.

On Friday morning, Johnson spoke to WGN-TV on the heels of the Osundario brothers" statement and again expressed doubt about Smollett's check assertion: "If I were going to buy a kilo of cocaine, I wouldn't put in the memo section "for a kilo of cocaine'".

Graham also threw his support behind Smollett - who has been accused of staging a "bogus" attack against himself - saying the actor "has been misunderstood".

The brothers also told detectives they and Smollett rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening, WBBM added.

Prosecutors say Smollett enlisted the help of the brothers, one of whom worked out with the actor and had been a stand-in on "Empire".

As part of Smollett's bail, he agreed to have no contact with the brothers.

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But cops now allege Smollett paid the pair $3,500 to stage the beatdown that ended with a noose around his neck outside his apartment building last month.

The two were captured in surveillance video purchasing a red hat and ski masks. "Did you give them immunity?"

"I just want people to understand that's a damaging thing to do to a city and to a police department", Johnson said.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that investigators believe Smollett's motivation was dissatisfaction with his salary on "Empire".

Smollett, 36, maintains his innocence in relation to the incident.

As we reported, Smollett was arrested on February 21 and released after posting his $100,000 bond.

"They punched him a little but as far as we can tell, the scratches and bruises on his face were likely self-inflicted", he said. Quite the opposite. Cops said they are cooperating in the investigation and even described them as victims.

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