Chicago police believes actor Jussie Smollet orchestrated his attack paying two Nigerian actors
Empire star Jussie Smollett paid two men $3,500 to stage an assault against him which he later claimed was an attack motivated by racism and homophobia, investigators in Chicago now believe.
The two men involved in the alleged hoax are now said to be fully cooperating with law enforcement.
On January 29, two men, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo ‘yelled out racial and homophobic slurs’ while attacking Smollett, the actor told police.
One of the assailants tied a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him, Smollett claimed at the time.
During the attack, the assailants yelled ‘Empire f****t’ and ‘Empire n*****,’ the actor has long maintained.
That narrative, however, is now under serious scrutiny by investigators, who reportedly have evidence that Smollett directed his ‘attackers’ to buy the rope used in the ‘assault’ at a local hardware store.
Documents prove two Nigerian brothers who work as extras on the highly rated Fox drama bought the rope which was found around Smollett’s neck at Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in Chicago.
The brothers made the purchase on the weekend of January 25.
They also bought two red plain hats that they wore during the alleged attack, according to sources close to the investigation.
Police believe that the red hats were purchased at a local beauty supply store in the Uptown section of Chicago.
‘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,’ Chicago Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said.
‘We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.’
Chicago police are now ‘eager to speak to Jussie Smollett’ in light of the new information that was uncovered.
‘We have been in touch with Smollett’s attorneys,’ a Chicago Police Department spokesperson said.
‘We made our intentions clear,’ he said.
Brothers Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo, 27, and Abimbola ‘Abel’ Osundairo, 25, were cut loose from police custody late on Friday. They had been held since Wednesday, after being picked up at O’Hare Airport while disembarking a flight from Nigeria.
The brothers were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised another $500 upon returning to the US.
Earlier on Saturday, Smollett hired Michael Cohen’s high-powered criminal defense attorney, as the police investigation into the attack he reported last month took a sudden shift amid allegations of a hoax.