Jussie Smollett allegedly rehearsed attack with two Nigerian brothers & paid them $3,500
The suspects in Jussie Smollett's alleged attack have painted the actor as the brains behind the incident shifting the investigation to a new direction. Other signs following the attack also allude to this. Smollett is enraged by the new allegations.
Just when Jussie Smollett gained sympathy for being a victim of a racist attack, new details have emerged revealing a different story, one that suggests the actor was the mastermind of it all.
Smollett’s alleged attackers who were arrested following the incident have spoken up and revealed a startling story about the “Empire” actor’s alleged involvement in what is now described as a staged attack.
Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month https://t.co/GtCq1pcwpa pic.twitter.com/RaZZFv8FTz— CNN (@CNN) February 17, 2019
STARTLING DETAILS ABOUT SMOLLETT'S ATTACK BASED ON THE SUSPECTS' ACCOUNT
According to the suspects Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo who are brothers and reportedly worked as extras on “Empire,” Smollett hired them for $3,500 to attack him and promised them an additional $500 after. They also claimed they rehearsed the attack days prior and that the actor paid for the rope that was used for his assault.
On January 29, news emerged that Smollett was attacked by two unidentified men outside of his apartment in the wee hours of the morning. A rope was reportedly tied around his neck while a chemical was poured all over his face. He also claimed his attackers, one of them wearing a red hat, spewed racial and homophobic slurs at him the whole time. Smollett is openly gay.
EVENTS THAT LED TO DOUBTS ABOUT SMOLLETT'S STORY
The following day, after identifying the suspects who were spotted at the vicinity of the attack through a surveillance video, they were arrested at O’Hare International Airport while attempting to flee to Nigeria. They were tracked after police raided their home and discovered doors busted and damaged, clothes tossed everywhere and suspicious items such as a blackface mask hat, an Empire script, a phone, receipts, a red hat, and bleach.
Due to the result of the interrogation of the two suspects who revealed the attack was a hoax, they were reportedly released without charges two days later.
A spokesperson for the Chicago police, Anthony Guglielmi, issued a statement confirming a shift in the investigation following the suspects’ pronouncements.
“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”
Moreover, Gugliemi tweeted,
“Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete.”
Case Update: Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019
SMOLLETT'S REACTION TO THE LATEST ALLEGATIONS
Meanwhile, Smollett has vehemently denied the claims of the two suspects. Through his lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, the actor released a statement expressing his anger and devastation stemming from the latest developments in his case.
“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,”
“One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.”
Here is the latest statement from the attorneys that Jussie Smollett has retained: pic.twitter.com/E6L8KytPgy— Stephanie Wash (@WashNews) February 17, 2019
WHY THE MEDIA IS BENT ON BELIEVING THE SUSPECTS' STORY
Police said there is no evidence that clearly documents the attack or that it was a hoax. As such, Smollett is still being treated as a victim rather than a suspect.
However, this is not the picture that the media has started to paint about the actor. Doubts over his story emerged after police revealed he refused to surrender his phone on the day of his attack. He reportedly surrendered his phone almost a week later after records had already been heavily redacted. The actor claims he had to do that to protect the privacy of certain individuals not involved in the case.
Media reports anout the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate. pic.twitter.com/iSO5YFv452— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 15, 2019
Police also wondered why Smollett called them from his apartment after the attack and not from the scene of the crime. Moreover, with both suspects being black, it is questionable that the attack was racist in nature as Smollett claimed it to be.
A theory suggests Smollett staged the attack because his character was about to be written off from “Empire.” However, the show’s producers were quick to deny this.