If you remember in our previous coverage of the Jussie Smollett incident, we reported that Smollett was allegedly attacked by two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs near the lower entrance of Loews hotel in Chicago. Smollett said one of them stated “This is MAGA country” a reference to Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, insinuating the attack may have been politically charged. He also stated they put a rope around his neck as well as poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
New information on the case may suggest that Smollett might have staged the entire event. Wednesday police arrested two Nigerian men, Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, brothers who apparently have known Smollett since before the incident. Their lawyer has stated one of them worked as an extra on the set of Empire. They both have been released on Friday without any charges on them. According to CNN “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”.
Smollett’s lawyers state that he is angry about the claims of him having an involvement in the attack. “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,” the statement read. “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.”
The case certainly isn’t as cut and dry as it started out but Smollett has not been named as a suspect as of yet. It is unclear where this case is headed but it is clear that there is more information to come.