CNN is reporting on Feb. 16, 2019, that law enforcement sources believe that Jussie Smollet paid two men to stage an attack which he claimed was motivated by homophobia and racism.
Smollett informed law enforcement that on January 29 that he was attacked by two white men who yelled homophobic and racial slurs at him, poured a chemical on him, and strung a noose around his neck.
Two Nigerian brothers 25-year-old Abel and 27-year-old Ola Osundairo, who worked as extras on the Fox television series “Empire,” were arrested on February 13 and released on the 15th without being charged. The brothers cooperated with law enforcement and informed them they had purchased the rope used as a noose at a Chicago Ace Hardware store. They also confirmed they were the men on the surveillance video found by police the evening of the attack.
CBS News reported police raided the home of the brothers on February 13 and found electronic devices, bleach, shoes, and a red hat.
TMZ reported that the brothers were pro LGBT, opposed Donald Trump and were supporters of Barack Obama.
Police verified that the phone records obtained showed Smollett was speaking on the phone with his music manager, Brandon Moore, at the time of the attack. Both claimed the alleged attackers yelled “MAGA country.”
In an interview with “Good Morning America” on February 14, Smollett discussed the details regarding his attack. He told the interviewer he was frustrated that people were questioning him. Smollett said during the interview:
It feels like if I had said it was a Mexican or a Muslim or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot much more, and that says a lot about the place where we are as a country right now.
According to Fox News, On February 15, source report police seized a bottle of bleach they found in Smollett’s apartment.
Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told CNN that the police had contacted Smollett’s attorney on to set up a meeting. Smollett hired Michael Cohen’s criminal defense lawyer, Michael Monico.
Smollett initially said he did not know who attacked him. It was reported he was friends with the brothers and would often talk to them on the set about fitness and health. Also, the actor follows both brothers on social media. On the brothers’ Instagram account which is shared, there is a video showing them working out at a private gym located on Smollett’s block.
Smollett told ABC News on February 13 that he would never be the same person. He added the experience had changed him forever.
Written by Barbara Sobel
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
ABC News: Chicago detectives are ‘eager to speak to Jussie Smollett’ after new information emerges following interrogations
Page Six: Jussie Smollett hires Michael Cohen’s criminal defense lawyer
CNN: Police sources: New evidence suggests Jussie Smollett orchestrated attack
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