Jussie Smollett case to reportedly go before a grand jury
The Jussie Smollett case will go before a grand jury early next week, according to a new report.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ that a panel will hear the case, but the outlet didn’t elaborate on who is facing charges — or what they might be.
The “Empire” star told cops he was assaulted in Chicago on Jan. 29 by two men spewing racist and homophobic slurs at him — but his story has since come under fire as sources have alleged to news outlets that he actually paid some pals to stage the whole thing.
Cops arrested brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo on Wednesday after they were captured on security footage near the scene — but they were released Friday without charges, and police then said evidence they gave has shifted the “trajectory of the investigation.”
Cops are also now investigating whether magazines with missing pages that they found when raiding the brothers’ homes are connected to a threatening letter sent to Smollett a weeks before the attack with cut-out letters reading, “You will die black f–,” according to TMZ.
Smollett originally made it clear to cops that he’d sign complaints against his assailants — but once the Osundairos were arrested, he said he knew them and felt bad for them, and refused to press charges, sources tell TMZ.
Police originally found the star’s story suspect when he brought them to the scene of the incident and pointed out a camera noting the whole attack was caught on video — and were also suspicious of the claim that his assailants shouted, “This is MAGA country,” because “Not a single Trump supporter watches ‘Empire,’” the gossip site reports.
Sources have told CBS Chicago that Smollett paid the bodybuilding brothers $3,500 for the attack — with the promise of another $500 to come — and even coughed up the cash for the rope the duo purchased for the assault.
Smollett denies playing any role in the attack.
His lawyers said in statement over the weekend that one of the brothers was his personal trainer, and the star finds it “impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.”
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