The investigation on the alleged brutally racist and homophobic attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been a long and tumultuous journey. And just in the past week, new developments have arisen regarding his case. However, along with the supposedly new evidence comes more questions and confusion.
On Wednesday, brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundair — at least one of whom has appeared as an extra for Empire — were arrested at O'Hare International Airport upon their arrival from Nigeria. A Chicago Police Department spokesperson Tom Ahern told E! News, "They are under arrest and being questioned as suspects but have not been charged." On Friday, the two were released, and Chicago PD Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted, "Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete."
Case Update: Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019
Now, two law enforcement sources who supposedly have intel on the investigation have told CNN that the police "believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month." Smollett denies this wild accusation.
On Saturday, the Empire actor's lawyers issued a statement to CNN, expressing the his anger towards these supposed "latest developments" on the investigation of his case.
"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."
Still, Smollett's lawyers say that they will continue cooperating with the Chicago Police. They're ignoring unnamed sources who are leaking supposed information regarding the investigation, but "will continue discussions through official channels."
Anonymous sources have recently informed TMZ that his case will be heard by a grand jury early next week.
Image via Getty