Visits to an upscale Chicago gay bathhouse may prove that embattled “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was more than friends with his alleged attacker Ambimbola “Abel” Osundairo.
“They used to party together and he had a sexual relationship with [Abel]. They went to this affluent Chicago bathhouse multiple times and they had to show ID. It’s known as a bathhouse where a lot of affluent black gay men hang out. There should be a record [of their visits],” an insider told Page Six, adding that the bathhouse records may be subpoenaed in Smollett’s upcoming trial on charges of disorderly conduct.
Abel and his brother, Ola, have denied they are gay and sued Smollett’s Hollywood lawyers, Tina Glandian and Mark Geragos, last year for defamation after they insinuated there was a sexual relationship between Smollett and one of the brothers in an interview with “Good Morning America.”
The suit claimed the comments put the brothers and their family, who are Nigerian, at risk due to the country’s inhumane laws that state homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison and death by stoning if the person is married.
“We have sat back and watched lie after lie being fabricated about us in the media only so one big lie can continue to have life. These lies are destroying our character and our reputation in our personal and professional lives,” their attorney, Gloria Schmidt, read in a statement on their behalf at the time.
A judge dismissed the defamation suit last month. Smollett, however, continues to fight back against the claim that the brothers helped him stage a hoax racial attack against himself in 2019.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintains he paid the brothers $3,500 for performance-enhancing drugs, not to stage a crime.
Lawyers for Smollett and the brothers did not comment, but an insider told us Smollett feels like “it’s all one big setup.”