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Police name actor brothers who’re friends of Empire star Jussie Smollett’s as potential suspects in ‘racist, homophobic’ assault – Show’s producers, actor refute claims assault was staged to save his career

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Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo and his brother Abimbola ‘Abel’ Osundairo, were picked up at Chicago O’Hare Airport on Wednesday and detained over Jussie Smollett attack,
The brothers, both actors it’s revealed are friends with the Empire star amid claims the assault was staged to save his career
The pair had just arrived back from Nigeria when they were taken into custody 
Ola who appeared on Empire in 2015 as an extra and his brother Abel are friends with Smollett, who follows them on Instagram, and sometimes works out with them 
Both brothers shared photos and videos from their trip to Nigeria on Instagram
The actor is upset by insinuations the attack as a hoax, same as the producers of the show EMPIRE 
Chicago PD said Friday that Smollett was still being treated ‘as a victim and not a suspect’ 
The brothers have not been charged, but are now treating the pair as potential suspects instead of persons of interest 
The lawyer for the brothers insists they are not the people who attacked Smollett, revealing that the three are friends who sometimes work out together

Two brothers, both actors, are  being questioned over the alleged ‘hate crime’ assault on Jussie Smollett, who stars in the TV series, Empire.
Abimbola ‘Abel’ Osundairo and his brother,  Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo. were picked up by police at Chicago O’Hare Airport on Wednesday as they arrived back in America after visiting family in Nigeria to be questioned over the January 29 attack involving the star.

Relatives said they left for Africa on January 29, hours after the Smollett attack.
Both men it has been revealed, are known to the victim. Ola appeared on Empire in 2015 and both brothers have had minor roles on Chicago PD.
Smollett follows their joint Instagram account and, according to their lawyer, sometimes goes to the gym with them.
On Thursday night, the star was accused by anonymous police sources cited by local networks of staging the attack to try to save his role on the popular show, a claim that has been strenuously denied by the show and uncorroborated by the police department.

Empire star Smollett [photo, after the attack], says he was attacked by two assailants whose facial features he could not make out but that it was a racist, homophobic ambush during which they called him ‘Empire f****t n****r’ and shouted: ‘This is MAGA country!’

In his reports to police, Smollett says he was attacked by two assailants whose facial features he could not make out but that it was a racist, homophobic ambush during which they called him ‘Empire f****t n****r’ and shouted: ‘This is MAGA country!’
The brothers’ names are also included on a list of evidence that was left at their home after Chicago PD officers ransacked it on Thursday and the pair are listed in public records as the tenants of that house.

They have not been charged and are their lawyer insists they are not the people who attacked Jussie, revealing that the three are friends who sometimes work out together.
Chicago police on Friday however said Abel and Ola were now being treated as ‘potential suspects’ instead of ‘persons of interest’.

‘The two individuals interviewed are classified (sic) as potential suspects.
‘Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues,’ Anthony Guglielmi, spokesperson for Chicago PD, said in a statement.

Before returning to the US on Wednesday, the brothers shared photographs and videos on Instagram of their time in Nigeria.
Neither has been charged and Chicago Police Department has until 5.45pm on Friday to arrest them or release them.
The brothers’ lawyer Gloria Schmidt spoke out on Thursday to say they were ‘baffled’ by the allegations against them and that they are innocent.
‘They were actually detained at customs at O’Hare airport yesterday around 5:45 p.m.

The brothers’ names are included in this inventory list that police left with their relatives detailing all the items they took from the house as part of their investigation. The list included proof of residency for both brothers and bottles of LA’s Totally Awesome bleach

Smollett follows the brothers’ joint Instagram account where they post videos and photographs of themselves working out

Smollett is pictured in the hospital after a friend called the police to report him being attacked. He did not want to involve authorities. He’s upset that his story had been questioned
He wore his various civil liberties badges for his CBS interview where he described how he did not want to seem ‘weak’ when he finally agreed to report the incident to the police

Smollett wept, in his first interview about the attack that was aired on Good Morning America on Thursday.
The Empire actor became emotional as he recalled realizing that they had placed a noose around his neck after hitting him in the face and ribs and calling him a racial slur.
He was heartbroken that his story had been questioned.
‘This is someone they know.
‘This is someone they’ve worked with, so they don’t want to see somebody go through that.
‘They are really baffled why they are people of interest.
‘They really don’t understand how they even got information that linked them to this horrific crime, but they are not guilty of it,’ she said.

TMZ reported that detectives found the men by looking at ride-sharing history records from the night of the attack.
Smollett, 36, says he was attacked by two men on January 29 as he walked home from a Subway at 2am.
He has since said he believes he was targeted because he is a vocal critic of President Trump and that he would have had more public support if he had said his attackers were ‘black, Muslim or Mexican’.


“The actor wept as he said ‘who the f*** would make that up’ when addressing the skepticism surrounding his version of events ” 

In his hour-long interview with Good Morning America that was aired in part on Thursday, Smollett, wearing a collection of badges to show his support of Freedom and Pride among other causes, revealed his frustration at some of the public disbelief surrounding his version of events.
He said he does not think he would have been met with the same cynicism if his attackers weren’t Trump supporters and revealed his belief that he was targeted because he is a vocal critic of the president.
Smollett also went into detail about why he did not immediately hand over his phone to the police to verify parts of his story and said he was trying to protect private photographs, videos, songs and phone numbers of high profile people and his partner.

A week before the attack, Smollett received this threatening letter at the Fox studio where he works

He said he was frustrated that Chicago Police had not yet found surveillance footage of the incident and revealed his disappointment after learning that a camera at the very spot of the attack was turned in the opposite direction when it took place.
Choking back tears, he explained when asked why it took so long for him to contact the authorities: ‘There is a level of pride there. We live in a society where as a gay man you are considered somehow to be weak and I am not weak. I am not weak and we as a people are not weak.’
Describing the chain of events once police arrived at his apartment at the request of 60-year-old Frank Gatson, his friend who was at the apartment when the attack took place.

Smollett’s 60-year-old friend Frank Gatson, seen [Left], with the actor ], insisted that they report the attack to police after he returned home with a rope around his neck

A week before the attack, Smollett received this threatening letter at the Fox studio where he works.
‘I told them what happened. I asked them to turn their body cameras off. I was like, “Please just come in.
‘I don’t want a big scene with my neighbors,”‘ he said, adding that he had left the rope around his neck and his bleach-doused clothes on for them to see.
He said that while he left the rope around his neck, it was not ‘wrapped’ tightly.

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