Sources Detail How Jussie Smollett and Two Brothers Allegedly Staged Attack
There are shocking new details in the Jussie Smollett case as law enforcement sources tell TMZ how the actor and two brothers allegedly staged the attack.
The “Empire” star has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, claiming he was attacked Jan. 29 around 2:00 a.m. outside his Chicago apartment building by two men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs, leaving him with a rope around his neck.
Insiders, however, say he met with brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo in advance to choose a location where a camera would capture the assault.
The incident took place outside of Jussie's apartment, but the security camera was pointed the other way.
The brothers supposedly rehearsed the attack, and the sources claim Smollett asked the guys to get somewhat physical, but avoid serious injury.
The insiders went on to say that the two men were nervous the night of the assault, but carried out the plan, even making some “contact with Jussie's face” that they insisted was “weak.” They couldn't explain his bruising, as they did not intend to injure him.
Earlier, CBS Chicago reported that Olabinjo and Abimbola were paid $3,500 for their part in the attack. They left for Nigeria the night it happened, and were reportedly supposed to receive another $500 upon their return.
The men, who had been identified from surveillance video near the scene, were arrested Wednesday and held by police for two days. They were not charged.
Olabinjo has appeared on “Empire” as an extra. Jussie's attorneys have also stated that one of the men had worked for the star as a personal trainer.
Now, TMZ says a grand jury could soon hear evidence in the case, and sources tell the site that the two men have agreed to appear, and have not been subpoenaed.
Jussie could be charged with filing a false police report, which is a felony, if the grand jury believes the story of the brothers.
On Saturday, Smollett's lawyers told “Extra” in a statement that Jussie was “angered and devastated” by reports he knew the attackers, and that he now feels “further victimized.”
While the Chicago PD says detectives would like to speak to Jussie again, his attorneys tell us, “There are no plans for Jussie Smollett to meet with Chicago police today. Any news reports suggesting otherwise are inaccurate. Smollett's attorneys will keep an active dialogue going with Chicago police on his behalf. We have no further comment today.”