Actor Jussie Smollett appears to have concocted a hate-crime hoax because he was upset that a racist letter sent to the Empire studio didn't get a "bigger reaction," reports CBS 2 Chicago. As a result, Smollett allegedly paid two men $3,500 each to rehearse and then attack him a week later in an attempt to frame Trump supporters as violent racists.
“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.
The blockbuster revelation into at least part of Smollett’s potential motive comes two days after CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Smollett and two brothers — Ola and Abel Osundairo — staged the attack on Jan. 29 in Streeterville. -CBS 2 Chicago
CBS 2 reporter Charlie De Mar spoke on the phone with the Osundario brothers Monday afternoon, who said in a joint statement: "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."
I just spoke to Ola and Abel Osundairo on the phone. It was brief but they stressed the following.— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 18, 2019
“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.”https://t.co/0TtYH1awDE
Smollett received a letter containing a "white substance" at Empire's Chicago Cinespace Studios where the show is filmed, prompting a HAZMAT response that failed to gain much traction. The "white substance" was later found to be aspirin.
The note was crafted with letters apparently cut out from magazines to form words. The pieced-together message contained racial and homophobic threats directed at Smollett. A magazine is one of the pieces of evidence retrieved from the brother’s home last week during a search conducted by CPD. Investigators also recovered a book of stamps.
The brothers are acquaintances of Smollett.
When asked about the letter in a televised interview last week, Smollett said, “On the letter, it had a stick figure hanging from a tree with a gun pointing toward it.” It also had “MAGA” — reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan Make America Great Again – written as the return address.
“In due course all the facts will reveal themselves and at the end of the day my clients are honest and credible” the brothers’ attorney Gloria Schmidt said.
Jussie Smollett didn't just claim he was attacked by 2 white attackers in MAGA hats who poured bleach on him and put him in a noose, he also claimed he was sent a homophobic letter containing white powder a few days before the attack. pic.twitter.com/8axvypz4kJ— Secret Asian Man (@anangbhai) February 17, 2019
Smollett to be in play with a similar "assault"?
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that Smollett "landed in Chicago shortly after midnight" one day after he was in New York City for a reading of the play "Take Me Out," which features a gay character who is attacked using "the same racial slurs Smollett told police his attackers screamed at him, including 'f****t' and 'n****r.'"
On Monday, Smollett's new crisis management rep Anne Kavanaugh reported "There are no plans for Jussie to meet with Chicago police today. Any news reports suggesting otherwise are inaccurate. Smollett's attorneys will keep dialogue going with Chicago police on his behalf."
New statement from Smollett representative: “There are no plans for Jussie to meet with Chicago police today. Any news reports suggesting otherwise are inaccurate. Smollett's attorneys will keep dialogue going with Chicago police on his behalf. We have no further comment today.”— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) February 18, 2019
Smollett picked the wrong camera
After the alleged "attack" on January 29 in which Smollett alleged that two attackers recognized him, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him (from the reading he had just flown back from), beat him up, poured a bleach-like liquid on him, wrapped a noose around his neck, and warned him "This is MAGA country!" - Smollett made sure to tell Good Morning America last week that he spotted a surveillance camera that caught the entire incident.
Alas, as Breitbart's John Nolte notes, Smollett then admitted his disappointment that the camera was facing the wrong way.
And one can imagine, had there been surveillance footage of the attack, the investigation would have proceeded very, very differently.
Once police had the footage, it would leak. Once cable and network news had the footage, it would loop endlessly. The fact that the two brothers are black wouldn’t matter. CBS Chicago reports that a black face mask was found in their apartment. Smollett told police the attackers wore face masks. With those face masks, the organized left (the media, Democrats, celebrities) were allowed to assume his racist attackers were white. Breitbart
Just another hate crime hoax in America (allegedly, of course).