Before Jussie Smollett was indicted on 16 felony charges, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a press conference that the Empire actor paid "$3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process." According to TMZ, Jussie did pay Ola and Abel Osundairo, but it was for fitness and health training. 

The publication details how the training program was for Jussie to get in shape for a music video shoot which makes the statement by Chicago Police inaccurate. The brother's attorney Gloria Schmidt paid a visit to Good Morning America and explained how the brothers took the payment for their fitness services and did the staged attack as a favour...

“My clients were just taken advantage of by someone they trusted,”  Gloria said on GMA. “This was someone who the brothers thought could help their career. . . . Someone they had trusted to consider their best interest."

 

"I’m left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?" Eddie Johnson asked.

"How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?"