Empire” star Jussie Smollet paid $3,500 to bodybuilding brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo before they left for Nigeria the day of the Jan. 29 attack, and promised another $500 upon their return to the US, sources told CBS Chicago.
Late Saturday, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said cops reached out to Smollett’s lawyers to arrange a follow-up interview. There has not been a response.
“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,” said Guglielmi, who did not elaborate further.
THEY REHEARSED IT
The brothers told cops that the alleged attack in Chicago was supposed to happen before Jan. 29 and that they practiced it in the days before it happened.
Was it on tape? It seems Chicago has tape on every corner and every building.
Smollett, 36, also allegedly paid for the rope, which was purchased from the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in the Ravenswood neighborhood the weekend of Jan. 25.
Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach on Smollett during the 2 a.m. attack, while the other donned a red hat and shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him.
The red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store.
According to ABC News reporter Rob Elgas, the police are still investigating the hate letter sent the week before the attack. The FBI is assisting.
Cops have said the brothers are budding model-actors who have a “relationship” with Smollett and worked on his hit TV show on Fox.
Smollett’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson released a statement late Saturday, saying the actor is “angered and devastated” by claims he staged the attack, according to ABC Chicago. These attorneys replaced his former attorney Michael Monico, Michael Cohen’s attorney, who disagreed with Smollett over the release of the statement.
MONICO QUIT OVER THE STATEMENT! WAS IT A PERJURED STATEMENT?
Filing a false report to police in the State of Illinois is considered an act of disorderly conduct, which is a Class 4 felony. That means that anyone found guilty could face up to three years in prison.