Hoax: Police Think 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Paid Two Men to Attack Him
See below for updates.
On Saturday night, Chicago Police confirmed to PJ Media that the testimonies of two black men arrested in the case of Empire star Jussie Smollett have flipped the story. Rather than considering Smollett the victim of an attack, it appears that police may now see him as the perpetrator of a hoax.
"We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation," Chicago Police chief communications officer Anthony Guglielmi told PJ Media. "We've reached out to the Empire cast member's attorney to request a follow-up interview."
Two law enforcement sources confirmed to CNN that police are considering the Jussie Smollett case a hoax. Police now think the two men they arrested last week — Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo and his brother Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo — were paid by Smollett to attack him. Chicago Police believe the Empire star orchestrated the assault. A police spokesman told PJ Media the department will release a statement within the hour.
The Osundairo brothers, arrested Wednesday, were released without charges on Friday after police discovered "new evidence." The men are cooperating with law enforcement.
As late as Friday afternoon, police were considering Smollett a victim rather than the perpetrator of a crime. At that point, however, his story had already started to fall apart.