This supposedly lead to Smollett paying two men to attack him a week later, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the investigation.
“When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack,” a source told CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards. Other sources corroborated that information.
However, Smollett is “angered and devastated” at suggestions he was involved in his attack as brothers are questioned by police were paid $3,500 to stage the attack.
The men who were arrested in connection with the attack on Jussie Smollett are Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo.
The brothers were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of “new evidence.”
In a joint statement issued to WBBM – TV, the men said: “We are not racist. We are not homophobic, and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens.”
Smollett’s attorneys, Todd S. Pugh, and Victor P. Henderson issued a statement to CNN Saturday night saying Smollett was angry about these latest developments.
Here is the full statement:
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 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.
One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.
Jussie and his attorneys anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate. 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.
Smollett, who is black and gay, has said he was physically attacked last month by two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and “This is MAGA country!” He said they looped a rope around his neck before running away as he was returning home from an early morning stop at a Subway restaurant in downtown Chicago. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him.
Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, reiterated the detectives’ desire to talk to Smollett about the case. Guglielmi said he hopes there’s a “mutually beneficial time” that can be worked out between the detectives and Smollett’s lawyers to make that happen.
“There are no plans for Jussie Smollett to meet with Chicago police today,” Smollett spokeswoman Anne Kavanagh said in an emailed statement Monday. “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.”