Jussie Smollett ‘has set back race and LGTB relations’ – Chicago police chief Eddie T. Johnson
Dissatisfied with his salary on Empire, Smollett allegedly sent himself a threatening, racist and homophobic letter on January 22 to get more money from 20th Century Fox
When that tactic failed, he next hired brothers Abimbola ‘Abel’ and Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo to stage a hate-laced attack him
Smollett claimed his assailants called him a ‘f****t’ and *n****r’ and that they shouted ‘This is MAGA country!’
Police issued dozens of search warrants and scoured hundreds of hours of surveillance footage which led them to the brothers
They tracked them down through their use of a ride-share on the night of the attack
Smollett was in contact with them an hour before the incident and an hour afterwards and when they were in Nigeria, laying low for two weeks
When they returned on February 13, they were picked up by police and later confessed ‘the entire plot’
Smollett is in custody on felony charges of filing a false police report and disorderly conduct
Police say he gave himself the scratches on his face that were visible in a hospital bed selfie after he had reported it the police
FBI are investigating the self-sent hate mail which, if proven to be true could see him facing another 5-10 years in prison on a federal mail fraud charge
Chicago police reportedly have found phone records which prove Smollett [photo], spoke with brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo an hour before the attack, an hour afterwards and while they were in Nigeria
Jussie Smollett was eviscerated by furious Chicago police bosses on Thursday who revealed that he mailed himself a threatening letter than staged a hoax attack on himself because he was unhappy with his Empire salary.
Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career, Chicago Police Department Chief Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said.
At an extraordinary press conference hours, Chief Johnson abhorred him as a ‘troubled young man’ who has ‘taken advantage of the pain and anger of racism to further his career’ by lying that he was attacked by racist and homophobic assailants on January 29.
Related: Actor Jussie Smollett allegedly rehearsed hoax attack with Osundairo brothers, paid them $3,500 to assault him
Jussie Smollett may have orchestrated an assault on himself, Chicago police say Brothers Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo, 27, and Abimbola ‘Abel’ Osundairo, […]
Smollett is paid $20,000 per episode on Empire but, according to the police, wanted more so ‘concocted’ the fake letter and attack in the hope that it would raise his profile and earn him more.
His motive ‘p****d everybody off’, Superintendent Johnson said, adding that Smollett’s repeated ‘lies’ were ‘shameful’ and ‘despicable’.
Police have found phone records which prove Smollett spoke with brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo an hour before the attack, an hour afterwards and while they were in Nigeria, keeping their heads down, while the case gained global attention.
Chicago PD Chief Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson at a press conference on Thursday described actor Jussie Smollett’s repeated ‘lies’ as ‘shameful’ and ‘despicable’
Jussie Smollett is shown in his mugshot on Thursday morning. The Empire actor handed himself in at 5am on charges of filing a false police report and disorderly conduct
Police say that on January 22, Smollett mailed himself a threatening letter to the Empire studio in Chicago which had ‘MAGA’ written on it and included racist and homophobic slurs.
When that did not win him a pay rise from 20th Century Fox, he allegedly hired the brothers to attack him at 2am on January 29 in what he then told police was a racist and homophobic attack.
They punched him but Smollett gave himself the scratches on his face that were visible in a hospital-bed selfie he took after reporting it to police, the Superintendent said.
Related: Actor Jussie Smollett charged for filing fake police report just hours after surveillance footage emerged of the brothers accused in alleged ‘attack’ buying black ski masks and a red hat
Jussie Smollett was criminally charged on Wednesday night in Chicago for filing fake police report just hours after surveillance footage emerged of the Nigerian brothers […]
While Smollett received an outpouring of sympathy from politicians, celebrities and public figures around the world, the brothers fled to Nigeria afterwards.
They were tracked down through their use of taxis on the night of the incident and were picked up at Chcago’s O’Hara airport when they returned to Chicago on February 13.
Once in custody, they told police that Smollett had hired them and said it was because he wanted a higher salary.
The Osundairo brothers claim he paid them a reported $3,500 to carry out the attack, they said, and promised them $500 more when they returned.
Smollett is in custody awaiting his first court appearance on felony charges of filing a false police report and disorderly conduct on Thursday afternoon.
The brothers said Smollett also sent himself this letter to the Fox studio where Empire is filmed a week before the attack. If proven to be true, he could face another 5-10 years in prison on a federal mail fraud charge
During the press conference, Chief Johnson revealed Smollett’s status transisted from being treated as the victim in the case to a suspect when the brothers ‘confessed’ the ‘entire plot’ in the final hour of a 48 hour hold.
That is when they, in their lawyer’s words, ‘manned up’ and revealed that they had been hired to carry out the attack by the actor himself.
Smollett actually furthered the investigation along by going on Good Morning America and confirming that the two people in a grainy surveillance footage still were the men who attacked him.
He was unaware when he made the remark that Chicago PD had identified those men as the Osundairo brothers and that they had them in custody.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Chief Johnson said , ‘I come to you today not only as the Superintendent of Chicago Police Department but as a black man who has spent his entire life living in the city of Chicago.
‘I know the racial divide. I know how hard it has been for our city and our nation to come together.
Appearing on ‘Good Morning America’ last Thursday, the actor wept as he said ‘who the f*** would make that up’ when addressing the skepticism surrounding his version of events
Police say Smollett cut his own cheek to make it look like he had suffered injuries in the attack. He is shown in a hospital bed selfie FaceTiming Lee Daniels, the show’s creator, hours after the attack.
Within hours of him being charged, Smollett’s attorneys arranged for him to hand himself in quietly at Chicago’s 1st District afterwards.
He appeared in his mugshot wearing a black puffer jacket, staring blankly at the camera.
After being processed at the station, he was transferred to the Cook County courthouse where he will appear at 1.30pm. He is being held separately from other detainees.
20th Century Fox, which released a statement hours before he was charged to say it was standing by him, is now reportedly suspending the actor.
A press conference is scheduled for 9am CT during which detectives will give more details about the arrest. It is not yet known where he was or what time he was taken into custody.
‘Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked,’ the actor’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said.
Surveillance footage emerged on Wednesday showing Ola and Abel Osundairo buying ski masks the day before, all items used in the attack
‘Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.’
The Osundairo brothers testified before the grand jury for about two and a half hours on Wednesday.
Addressing reporters outside afterwards, their attorney Gloria Schmidt said they’d ‘manned up’ by speaking out against Smollett.
They have not been arrested or charged and their lawyer said they had not been offered any form of immunity deal in exchange for testifying against Smollett.
There was a point where this story needed to be told and they manned up and they said, “we’re going to correct this”
Gloria Schmidt, lawyer for brothers said.
‘Plea deal, immunity, all of that — they don’t’ care about that.’
She said that Smollett was lying, and that she didn’t know how his conscience could let him sleep at night.
‘I think Jussie’s conscience is not letting him sleep right now and he should unload that conscience and come out and tell the American people what happened,’ she added.
‘There was a point where this story needed to be told, and they manned up and they said: “We’re gonna correct this,” the brothers’ attorney said
‘I think the biggest thing for the American people to know. Is that this story, has a lot of complications to it.
‘We’re not trying to hide anything from the press. But we wanted to make sure that everything checked out.
‘When I say that the police spent countless man-hours trying to piece this together, I mean that, I absolutely mean that.
‘When I say that my clients spent countless hours getting their story out there to the police so that they could do their work, I mean that, too,’ she said.
The brothers’ testimony came after footage emerged of them buying ski masks, a red hat and gloves in a store the day before the attack.