We chose to not continue to post any developing news about this case until we learned the truth about what really happened the night Smollett was attacked.
The original story was that Jussie Smollett had returned home to Chicago late at night. He had a 2-hour flight that turned into a 7-hour delayed flight. According to his GMA interview, he told journalist Robin Roberts that he had no food at home so he was going to go out to Walgreens but eventually ended up at Subway not far from his apartment building.
When Jussie arrived at the subway he called his manager, picked up his order, left the restaurant and that’s when he heard a man say “Empire”, when Jussie didn’t answer the man then yelled racial and homophobic slurs at Jussie. Jussie says he was still on the phone with his manager at the time but placed his phone in his pocked when the altercation accrued.
It was originally reported that Jussie had suffered a fractured rib during the beating however that turned out to be not true. Jussie never suffered any serious injuries, the cut on his face may have been self inflicted because the men were wearing gloves when they punched him. Jussie says that the beating continued then suddenly it stopped, the men had ran away and yelled “This MAGA country (n-word)” as the fled the scene.
Although Jussie originally did not want to call the authorities to report the innocent, Frank Gatton called the police for him. The incident was reported and the investigation was conducted. Investigators used several cameras even one in the cab the two men used when they left the scene to “ID’ the men. The two men now identified as Able and Ola Osundairo had left the country that same night to Nigeria, however video footage of them at hardware store purchasing the items used in the attack. You can clearly see the masks that were purchased in the photo below.
Able and Olu at the hardware store
It appears that the brothers bought the rope that was found around Jussie’s neck at an Ace Hardware store in Chicago according to CNN law enforcement sources, per Jussie’s request.
The brothers were gone a full 2 weeks, however when they returned to Chicago they were detained and interrogated. After the Chicago police interrogated the two brothers, they shifted the investigation due to new evidence provided by Able and Ola that helped further the investigation. After they were detained for almost 48 hours both Able and Ola Osundairo were released from custody. The brothers were no longer suspects of allegedly attacking Jussie Smollett.
The new evidence suggests that Jussie paid the two men $3,500 to stage the attack on him, Able and Ola had proof of a check that Jussie had written to pay them. The sources Able and Ola completely cooperated with Chicago police and one of the brothers handed over their phones to the police. The phone record shows a calls between him and Jussie in the vicinity of the attack prior to when it would’ve happened.
Once the brothers were identified, Jussie attorneys was asked if Jussie knew the identified persons and it turned out he did, one of the brothers was a extra on “Empire” so it was clear that Jussie had a professional relationship with him.
In the very beginning, it was reported that Jussie didn’t want to get law enforcement involved after the attack. Jussie had gone back to his apartment after the attack and his friend Frank convinced him to call “911”, then Jussie went to get checked out at the hospital.
Another thing to point is that during Jussie’s interview on GMA with Robin Roberts, he didn’t really go into much detail about the attack. He didn’t seem emotional, there was a clip where he looked like he was about to cry but it looked forced.
During the interview, Jussie made a point to mention that “people should just believe me for the sake of believing me” and went on to say: “How could people not believe me?”
New reports via TMZ says that Abel and Ola Osundairo who attacked Jussie said they scouted the location days before the “attack” with Jussie in the car, and Jussie chose the location saying that the camera would capture the “attack”.
The Osundairo brothers told police Jussie said he wanted to make it a “physical thing”, but not to the point he’d be seriously injured.
During the GMA Exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Jussie explained that when he was punched he punched the attacker back, and that’s what initiated the “tussle” that occurred near a stair case.
The new evidence provided by the Osundairo brothers turned the investigation against Jussie. When the brothers told investigators that Jussie set the whole scheme up to look like a “Hate Crime”. The investigation moved forward with more evidence presented.
On Wednesday, February 20th the two Osundairo brothers walked into the grand jury room at 3:46 pm fully prepared to testify against Smollett according to CBS Chicago reporter Charlie De Mar.
Around 5:10 pm on February 20th, it was reported that Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by the Chicago Police for filing a false police report according to the CBS reporter Charlie De Mar.
Early on Thursday morning February 21st, Jussie Smollett turned himself into the Chicago police accompanied by a female attorney. Later the same morning at 9 am a press conference on the Smollett case was conducted by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson providing specific details on the findings of the investigation. You can watch part of the press conference here, the full conference was broadcasted live on CBS WJZ facebook page.
The hate mail that was sent to him at the Empire set was also created and sent by Jussie, but when the letter did not gain enough attention Jussie conducted the scheme to make it look like he was attacked based on his race and sexual orientation.
It was stated that Jussie had staged the letter and the attack because “He was dissatisfied with his salary”
According to Deadline, all of Smollett’s scenes were cut from the remaining episodes of “Empire”
It is very unfrortunate that Jussie used today’s political and social climate to his advantage to get an outcry for justice for something completely fake.
“Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Chicago Police Superendtendent Eddi Johnson said at the news conference Thursday morning. “This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn, and certainly didn’t deserve”
“I’m left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol to further his own public profile?” Eddie Johnson said. “How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?”
The phone records that were provided from both the brother, and Jussie provided proof that Jussie had communicated with the brother’s both before, during and while the brothers were out of the country.
At a bond hearing on Thursday afternoon, a judge set Smollett’s bail at $100,000. He would have to put up $10,000 to be released from custody. Jussie also had to surrender his passport. When Jussie left the Cook County Jail, he was surrounded by security detail around 3:45 p.m.
Although Jussie has been released from custody if he is convicted for the federal charges he could face up to three years in prison and could be ordered to pay for the cost of the investigation, which involved more than 20 detectives over three weeks.
Smollett’s attorneys (Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson) released a statement saying “Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, have been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduce a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
The actions were particularly harmful to legitimate hate crime victims in the city, and Jussie has done a disservice to the LGBTQ community who were hurt when they found out what happened, only to be disappointed to find out later that it was all a sham.
Superintendent Johnson’s final statement “The Chicago Police Departmetn will continue to investigate all reports of these types of incidents with the same amount of vigor as we did with this one. My concern is that hate crimes will now be publicly met with a level of skepticism that previously didn’t happen.”