According to Chicago’s CBS2, police now believe Empire actor Jussie Smollett staged the now-infamous homophobic attack in Chicago last month because a threatening racist letter apparently didn’t get a “bigger” reaction from the show’s producers.
Sources told CBS 2 News that Smollett paid the two men $3,500 to stage the attack in Streeterville. The brothers, seen on surveillance video near the scene of the alleged attack, told investigators Smollett directed them to buy the rope used in the incident, and paid for the purchase at Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in Ravenswood days before the incident.
The brothers, who were questioned by police last week before being released, were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return.
They left for Nigeria later in the day on Jan. 29, after the attack.
Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and yelled slurs at Smollett.
The sources say the red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29. The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening.
All three men rehearsed their plan just days before everything played out.
Smollett upset at the reaction (or lack thereof) from others after receiving ‘threatening’ letter in mail prior to “attack”
Then concocted “attack.”
Feds investigating note
Brothers break their silence.Talking with me exclusively. https://t.co/0TtYH1awDE
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 18, 2019
While we are not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what’s been unofficially released, there are some developments in this investigation and detectives have some follow-ups to complete which include speaking to the individual who reported the incident. pic.twitter.com/b9GgXbSUt9
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 17, 2019