Bola Osundairo, who had taken the stand as a prosecution witness in the Smollett trial, detailed the brothers’ alleged involvement in how the hoax had been carried out. When the brothers were in police custody, Bola received the following text from Smollett, which was shown to the jury:
“Brother, I love you, I stand with you I know 1000%, you and your brother did nothing wrong and never will. Please hit me when they let you go. I’m behind you fully,” Smollett wrote in the text message.
The former “Empire” star, 39, was sentenced to 150 days in jail, 30 months of felony probation and was ordered to pay $ 120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago.
Gloria Rodriguez, the attorney for the Osundairo brothers, who at the time of Smollett’s conviction in December said her clients “could not be more thrilled” with the guilty verdict that absolved them, provided a statement to Fox News Digital following Smollett’s sentencing.
“The Osundairo brothers were not advocating for any specific sentence, they deferred to the wisdom and experience of Dan Webb and his team, including Sam Mendenhall and Sean Weiber, to bring the Smollett case to its final conclusion,” Rodriguez said in the statement.
“The Honorable Judge Linn found the Osundairo brothers not to be criminally connected to Mr. Smollett’s crime in any way, and for anyone continuing to state otherwise simply does not understand the laws or facts in this case.
“Nevertheless, the Osundairo brothers regret their role in the case and hope that the sentence today brings closure to the affected people of Chicago. They look forward to telling their story in detail in the very near future.”
Following his sentence, Smollett stood up and maintained his innocence in a passionate declaration to Cook County Judge James Linn, saying, “I’m not suicidal.”
After Smollett was convicted, Rodriguez spoke to reporters about the resources the city had exhausted to investigate the hate crime and subsequently try Smollett for falsely reporting it.
“We honor and respect the jury’s outcome but understand that there is a lot of healing that needs to happen,” she explained. “First and foremost, there is one unsung hero in all of this, and my clients really want to make sure she gets the credit she deserves. And that is retired Judge Sheila O’Brien.
“Without the judge, we do not have the office of the special prosecutor. We do not have people being held accountable,” Rodriguez said at the time. “We do not have the verdict that we have today. So, wherever you are, Judge O’Brien, my clients and myself, we thank you.
“We thank you for having the guts to file that motion seeking an appointment of the office of the special prosecutor. Without your guts and without your gumption, we would not be here today having this closure. So thank you.”
She also thanked Webb for his willingness to even take the case when “nobody wanted this case. None of the other state’s attorneys wanted this case. None of the other appellate state’s attorneys in the state of Illinois wanted this case.”
“And yet Chief Judge [Michael] Toomin found Winston & Strawn LLP, and thank God that he did and he appointed Dan Webb,” Rodriguez said. “Dan Webb and his team, especially Sean Weiber and Sam Mendenhall, deserve so much credit. I understand that they did this pro bono.
“The hours that they put into this case would astound you. The preparation that they had to go through. And I know particularly Sam Mendenhall was here in this building on his birthday. Anniversaries were missed. Recitals were missed so that we would be prepared and ready to go this last week of trial. So to the office of the special prosecutor, my clients and I personally thank you for taking us across the finish line.”