Chicago Police Now Say Jussie Smollett Might Have Planned Alleged Attack

By Stephanie Officer
Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Was it a hoax?

That is the question many are asking, after Chicago police say the trajectory of their investigation into Jussie Smollett’s alleged attack has changed.

CNN reports that Chicago police now believe the "Empire" actor paid two men to carry out the attack on him last month.

The men, who are brothers from Nigeria, were also extras on the show. They were arrested and released last week without charges, in light of what authorities call “new evidence.” Cops say the brothers are being cooperative.

However, in a statement to the network, Smollett’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson maintain he was the victim of a crime.

"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," the statement read. "He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,” they said in part.

“At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to 'unnamed' sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels."

On Jan. 29, Smollett said two men allegedly attacked him in a Chicago alley, poured a bleach-like substance on him and yelled “MAGA country.”

After the story initially broke, several messages on social media poured in to support him.

He was also met with those who doubted the whole thing.

Last week, Smollett appeared on ABC’s "Good Morning America" to discuss the alleged incident, and refute claims the story was fake.

“I was there. For me, when that was released, I was like OK, we’re getting somewhere,” he said. “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that that’s them. Never did,” Smollett said on the broadcast, referring to the brothers.


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Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.