Two weeks ago, Empire actor Jussie Smollett was hospitalized due to hate crime. Now there are rumors saying something unbelievable.
According to Associated Press, Chicago police said that their investigation has “shifted” because of new information they have received. Meanwhile, Jussie’s attorneys released a statement that he is “angered and devastated by recent reports,” following the rumors that he orchestrated the said attack.
Two Nigerian brothers, Olbaninjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, were arrested by the police, they were questioned then released without charges. One of them was apparently, Jussie’s trainer and the other was an extra on Empire.
“We can confirm the information received from the individuals’ questions by police earlier in the Empire case has, in fact, shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” said Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi to Associated Press. “We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”
There are a number of unnamed sources that were released, like CBS Evening News, that say that the attack was staged. Jussie allegedly paid the two brothers and had them buy the rope found around his neck.
Jussie responded through a statement released by his attorneys: “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,” it said. “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 further said. “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.”
“Jussie and his attorneys anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate,” Jussie’s attorneys added.
Spokesman Anthony continued to push back the reports that the crime was a hoax, he tweeted that these rumors are unconfirmed.
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
All these prove just how hard it is to fight and report about hate crime.
We’ll keep you posted as this develops.
Photo courtesy of Jussie Smollett’s Instagram account
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