Jussie Smollett staged 'hoax attack' because threatening letter Empire star was sent didn’t get 'enough attention', police sources claimFebruary 19, 2019
The Empire actor is suspected of paying the two men to attack him in an apparent hate crime on January 29, according to anonymous sources quoted by CBS Chicago.
The letter in question was allegedly received at the Fox studio a week before.
It contained a racist and homophobic threat, as well as a crude picture that appears to show a stick figure hanging from a tree with a gun pointed at him.
CBS quoted an unnamed source as saying: “When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack."
When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack
It is not clear if the police sources are referring to Smollett not getting enough attention from the show runners or in the media.
But the letter does not appear to have reached the public domain until after the attack.
The brothers initially arrested in connection, Abimbola 'Abel' and Olabinjo 'Ola' Osundairo, said: "We are not racist. We are not homophobic and we are not anti-Trump."
£2700 FOR ATTACK
The new accusations follow reports Smollett had still not "made himself available" to Chicago cops despite claims he orchestrated the attack on him by paying the pair.
A spokesperson for the Chicago police said on Sunday they wanted a follow-up interview after claims were made by the brothers that they were paid £2,714 to stage the "racist" street attack and put a noose around Smollett's neck, according to CBS.
We are not racist. We are not homophobic and we are not anti-Trump
The brothers, who worked as extras on Empire, are understood to have told detectives that Smollett orchestrated the attack, and have now been released without charge.
In response to the police's request for a second interview, a spokesperson for Smollett's lawyers said: “Smollett’s attorneys will keep an active dialogue going with Chicago police on his behalf. We have no further comment today.”
Smollett has hit back at the hoax claims, saying he feels “angered and devastated”.
He has now been further victimised by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack
A statement from his lawyers read: “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."
“He has now been further victimised by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack.
PUNCHED AND KICKED
Jussie, 36, who is black and gay and who plays gay character Jamal Lyon in Empire, claimed he was punched and kicked by masked attackers shouting "This is MAGA country" (Make America Great Again) in the early hours of January 29.
The actor said he was also doused in acid and had a noose put around his neck by the men, who also called him a “f***ot”.
He previously denied claims that he faked the Chicago attack because he was being written out of Empire.
Detectives have recovered surveillance footage of Jussie walking home from a Subway restaurant that morning, including video of him arriving at his apartment building with a rope around his neck.
But his phone records were rejected by police and were "heavily redacted", it was reported.
TMZ reported that the PDF file the 35-year-old star submitted could have been "manipulated" – claiming that numbers may have been added or deleted – although police told the publication that there is no evidence that the file had been altered.
Abimbola 'Abel' and Olabinjo 'Ola' Osundairo have been released without charge
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