Update: Police say new tip reported in Jussie Smollett case is “unfounded.”
On Tuesday (Feb. 19), Chicago police confirmed they received a new tip in the ongoing investigation on the attack of Jussie Smollett. The Chicago Sun-Times reported police indicated Smollett may have been spotted in his building’s elevator with the two alleged attackers, brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo. Authorities have now told reporters that the tip is “unfounded.”
— raferweigel (@RaferWeigel) February 19, 2019
CPD: The 2 brothers who were previously considered suspects in the Jussie Smollett case met with police and prosecutors at 26th/Cal today, though did not testify before a grand jury. Also, the tip that Smollett was seen with them the day of the reported attack was deemed bogus.
— Sam Charles (@samjcharles) February 19, 2019
See the original story below.
Chicago police now believe the actor staged his own attack.
According to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times, the tipster — presumed to be a resident or visitor in Smollett’s apartment building — said they saw the three men together the same night that the actor reported being attacked. The validity of the tip has yet to be confirmed, with investigators planning on interviewing the person Tuesday.
Police had previously disputed that the attack against Smollett was a hoax but now believe he staged it after speaking with two brothers that claim Smollett hired them for the attack.
Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo were brought in on Wednesday as the lead suspects in the incident. After a round of interviewing and the threat of being charged with battery, the Osundairo brothers claimed that Smollet hired them to participate in the staged attack, paying them $4,000 for their assistance. They went on to paint a drastically differed picture of the incident, claiming to have bought the rope found on Smollett’s neck at a local hardware store and the red imitation MAGA hats at a beauty supply. They even rehearsed the attack a few days prior.
As a result of the scandal, his role in Empire as Jamal Lyon has reportedly been reduced.
Smollett was supposed to have nine scenes and a big musical number in the second to last episode but five of those scenes, as well as the musical number, have been cut. The episode is currently being shot.
The report continues: “As for the remaining 4 scenes…we’re told he’s no longer the focus. The scene features an ensemble, meaning he’s flanked by a number of cast members.”
Source: Chicago Sun-Times