Things have taken another unexpected turn in the Jussie Smollett alleged attack story and it doesn’t bode well for the actor.
“The new direction of the investigation is now based on the premise that Mr. Smollett was an ‘active participant’ in the incident,” a law enforcement source close to the situation told Deadline.
New reports out of Chicago claim the “Empire” costar paid two Nigerian brothers to be part of a staged attack. Abel and Ola Usondairo confirmed to police that they purchased rope from a hardware store and the actor paid them to stage the hate crime attack, CBS correspondent Carter Evans is reporting.
Investigators say Smollett “orchestrated” the attack with the brothers.
“We have been in touch with Smollett’s attorneys,” said Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told ABC News early Saturday. “We made our intentions clear,” he added.
Guglielmi previously stated Smollett would be charged if investigators determined he staged the attack.
Since Smollett appeared on “Good Morning America” earlier this week with Robin Roberts and gave those who doubted his story a piece of his mind, he’s hired a criminal defense team. He has retained Chicago-based attorneys Victor P. Henderson and Todd Pugh, who specialize in criminal cases.
Officially the Chicago PD had no update on the case from its statement of last night that “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.”