With every new report the stories surrounding the mysterious, alleged late January attack of singer/actor Jussie Smollett takes more twists and turns than a daytime soap opera.
As we previously reported, Chicago police originally stated there were no persons of interests discovered after reviewing hours of footage from “city street cams” near the location of the alleged incident. Days later, they not only discovered two men but even made arrests in the days that followed that discovery.
Those first suspects – former ‘Empire’ actors – were released without charge in light of “new evidence.” Now, CNN and a number of major outlets are reporting that new evidence revolves around an investigation that suggests Smollett orchestrated his own attack. Details inside:
Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollet paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.
The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of “new evidence.”
“The new direction of the investigation is now based on the premise that Mr. Smollett was an active participant in the incident,” a law enforcement source close to the situation told Deadline today.
“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” a Chicago PD statement late Saturday declared. “We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”
“Yes, at the moment, I am,” Michael Monico, a former federal prosecutor in Illinois’ Northern District, told WGN’s “The Roe Conn Show” on Thursday.
Monico did not say how long he’s been representing Smollett, or in what capacity.
The report above surfaced just hours before it was revealed the brothers, who identify as friends of Smollett’s, actually purchased the rope that was “tied around his neck” during the attack.