Jussie Smollett's Lawyers Respond to Reports of Allegedly Paying for Orchestrated Attack

Jussie Smollett

Cops say they traced the brothers, who worked with Smollett on Empire back to footage that was taken the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago where the actor said he was attacked. Local media have identified the men as two brothers from Nigeria, though law enforcement has not confirmed their identities.

Smollett has said he was attacked by two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and "This is MAGA (Make America Great Again) country!".

The two brothers were released without charges and sources revealed that the two men, who are brothers, have a preexisting relationship with the Empire star and were paid by him to carry out the attack.

Smollett, 36, has said he was attacked while out getting food at a Subway sandwich shop in downtown Chicago.

They had questioned the two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, last week but the pair were released on Friday and are said to be still co-operating with the investigation.

A new development has been made in the investigation surrounding the January 29 attack on Empire actor, Jussie Smollett. According to police sources, the arrested suspects claim that Jussie Smollett paid them to orchestrate his own attack.

But in a statement to the Assosciated Press, Smollett's solicitor said there was no truth to the claims.

The police spokesman said that there is "no evidence to say that this is a hoax" and that Smollett "continues to be treated by police as a victim, not a suspect". They did obtain images of two people they said they would like to question.

"It feels like if I had said it was a Muslim or a Mexican or someone black I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot much more", Smollett said.

Sources told CBS Chicago that at least one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett's request.

Smollett's attorneys say the man is actually his personal trainer who he had hired to "ready him physically for a music video." .

On Friday, a spokesperson from the Chicago Police Department said they could not provide details of new information, but it "shifted the trajectory" of the information. Their attorney Gloria Schmidt has said they knew Smollett and were horrified to learn he was attacked. They described them as "suspects" in the assault, questioned them and searched their apartment.

"I've heard that it was a date gone bad, which I also resent that narrative", he said.

Twentieth Century Fox Television, the producer of "Empire" released a statement on Thursday saying the idea that Smollett has been, or would be, written out of the show was "patently ridiculous", and that they continue to stand behind him. They were never charged, and now it appears information they presented during the interrogation scored them their exit from custody.

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