Jussie Smollett was reportedly upset that a letter about him with racial and homophobic threats sent to the “Empire” studio didn’t get a “bigger reaction,” and that reportedly led him to stage the attack a week later.
“When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack,” a source with knowledge told CBS2 Chicago Monday, following reports that the investigation into his alleged attack had “shifted.” (RELATED: Chicago Police Say ‘Empire’ Actor Refuses To Turn Over Phone Records)
The “Empire” actor received a letter on Jan. 22 that contained a white powder substance. It was sent to the Chicago’s Cinespace Studios. HAZMAT was called out and the substance was letter identified to be aspirin. The note reportedly contained letters that were cut from magazines to form words. A magazine and book of stamps were just a few of the items retrieved last week from the home of two brothers, who were arrested.
It comes on the heels of a report that the 36-year-old actor would not be meeting with law enforcement for a “follow-up interview” Monday, following the arrest and release of the two potential suspects in connection with the case. They reportedly are acquaintances of Smollett.
A FOX reporter also tweeted that Smollett has hired a “Chicago based crisis management consultant.”
“#JussieSmollett lawyers have hired #Chicago based crisis management consultant Anne Kavanagh. I’m told she was also hired by former @Chicago_Police officer Jason Van Dyke who killed Laquan McDonald,” Rafer Weigel wrote.
“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,” a statement from the two men—the Osundairo brothers—shared with the outlet.
“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 shared.
As previously reported, two unnamed law enforcement sources shared Saturday with CNN that investigators believe Smollett may have paid the two brothers to stage the attack.
Smollett’s attorney hit back at reports Saturday that the attack had been a hoax.
“Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,” Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said in a statement.
Smollett claimed he was attacked near his Chicago home on Jan. 29th. He told police he was attacked by two men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs, along with a reference to “MAGA” (Make America Great Again). They also reportedly put a rope around his neck and threw a bleach-like chemical on him.