The tides seem to be turning against Smollett as he is now facing allegations that he paid the Nigerian brothers to stage the attack. Chicago police also have reasons to believe the Empire actor paid the two men to carry out last month’s alleged assault.
The two Nigerian brothers who had worked as extras on Empire told police that they were paid to take part in the 29 January attack, police sources said.
Smollett had said he was attacked by two white men. His lawyers have strongly denied he played any role in the alleged homophobic and racist assault.
“Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,” they said in a statement. The statement said one of the brothers had worked as Smollett’s personal trainer.
Ola and Abel Osundairo have both appeared as extras on Empire and said they had bought the rope used in the attack at a nearby hardware store. According to reports, the ave presented the receipt of the rope to the police.
A statement issued by Attorneys on behalf of the actor, denied that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case.
The full statement:
“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.
“One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. 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. At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to ‘unnamed’ sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels.”
By Damilola Faustino