AceShowbiz -Despite police’s initial denial that the hate attack on Jussie Smollett was “hoax,” new evidence reportedly points out that the “Empire” star orchestrated his own attack. Sources said the actor paid Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return for staging the attack.
The source said the attack was supposed to happen before January 29 and that they rehearsed days before the January 29 attack. The two brothers, who have been released after being arrested at O’Hare airport on Wednesday, February 13 and questioned by police, are now reportedly cooperating with detectives after police threatened them with battery and hate crimes. They are allegedly staying in an undisclosed location to make sure that Smollett does not contact the brothers.
Hinting at this development, Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement released on Twitter, “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.” He, however, did not mention in which direction the case has shifted.
Guglielmi then stressed in a follow-up tweet, “While we are not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what’s been unofficially released, there are some developments in this investigation and detectives have some follow-ups to complete which include speaking to the individual who reported the incident.”
Responding to the latest allegations, Smollett’s attorneys Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said in a statement on Saturday, “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. 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,” the statement continued to read. “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.”
Weighing in on the case, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted on late Saturday, “It appears that Jussie Smollett tried to manufacture a hate crime to make Trump supporters look bad and most of the media not only uncritically accepted his lies as facts for weeks, but attacked those who questioned the validity of his false story.”
TMZ reports the case will go to grand jury next week, though it’s not clear who is facing charges. If the new reports are true, Smollett will face charges for filing a false police report.
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