New Reports Indicate That Jussie Smollett Staged His Attack
Feb. 17, 2019
Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.
Smollett denies playing a role in his attack, according to a statement from his attorneys.
The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of "new evidence."
The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.
Smollett told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who were "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs." He said one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
The sources told CNN there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett's neck at a hardware store in Chicago.
However, attorneys for the actor and singer Jussie Smollett have said there is no truth to reports that he played a role in orchestrating an alleged assault on him last month by what he described as two men shouting homophobic and racial slurs.
In a statement late Saturday the lawyers said: “Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
The lawyers said Smollett, who stars in the TV drama Empire, would continue to cooperate with police.
Earlier on Saturday, Chicago police said their investigation of the attack had “shifted” following the interrogation of two men. The brothers from Nigeria were first considered suspects, but then released on Friday without being charged.