Jussie Smollett is back in the news as Fox Nation unveils new details about the actor’s alleged hate crime attack in the five-part documentary series Jussie Smollett: Anatomy of a Hoax.
The series features the first televised interview with Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, the two brothers who testified in Smollett’s 2021 trial that they helped him stage the attack.
“We were the ones that did it. Yeah, it was us,” the Osundairo brothers say in the newly released trailer. They later call Smollett “crazy.”
The two re-enact the assault and allege the Empire star paid them to help him plan it, right down to the red “Make America Great Again” hat.
“He told us to make sure we had the red hat, for Trump,” they say.
Smollett, who is African American and openly gay, told police he was walking down a Chicago street on the morning of Jan. 29, 2019, when two men approached him, and started yelling racial and homophobic slurs. He said the attackers beat him, doused him with bleach and wrapped a rope around his neck.
Fox describes the docuseries as a “dive into a scam that reverberated through the worlds of entertainment, pop culture and politics.”
“I think that he was looking for that Civil Rights martyrdom,” brand strategist and Fox Soul host Al Reynolds explains in the trailer.
The Osundairo brothers eventually decided to cooperate with investigators.
Former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was also interviewed for the docuseries and says some of the details in the case didn’t add up.
“Most folks aren’t going out at two in the morning on the coldest night of the year,” Johnson states.
Shortly after the attack, Johnson alleged in a news conference that Smollett staged the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on Empire.
The actor, who played Jamal Lyon on the Fox series, was cut from the show during his legal saga.
In March 2019, he was charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report. The charges were later dropped. In response, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was accused of showing the actor favoritism.
Amid public backlash over the charges being dropped, a special prosecutor was brought in and new charges were filed. In December 2021, a jury found Smollett guilty on five of six counts of felony disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to 150 days in jail.
The actor was released in March 2022, pending an appeal of his conviction.
Smollett has maintained his innocence throughout the case and did not participate in the docuseries.
The series comes from Pilgrim Media Group. Nicole Rittenmeyer directs and executive produces. Additional executive producers include Nicholas Caprio, Craig Piligian, Scott Eldridge, and Gloria Rodriguez — the attorney for the Osundairo brothers.
Jussie Smollett: Anatomy of a Hoax premieres March 13 on Fox Nation, Fox News Channel’s sister streaming platform.
The project is being released just days after Smollett’s legal team officially filed an appeal to his conviction on Wednesday, March 1.