Police have reportedly arrested two suspects who they questioned Wednesday in connection with last month’s alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
A Chicago police spokesperson confirmed to ETOnline that the men seen in the January 29 surveillance images were the same men they interviewed as persons of interest prior to their arrests. The spokesperson said the two men and their attorney met with detectives Thursday and plan to do the same today.
WBBM reported that the two suspects—Obabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo–were identified by their attorney, Gloria Schmidt. Police reportedly raided the brothers’ home Wednesday, the same day they met them at O’Hare International Airport, as they returned from Nigeria.
While authorities haven’t disclosed a motive, WLS-TV reporter Rob Elgas tweeted that multiple sources claimed the men were “Empire” extras and carried out the attack because Smollet’s character was expected to be written off the show.
Smollett, 35, was reportedly exiting a Chicago Subway restaurant at 2 a.m. January 29 when one of two men in ski masks asked him, “Aren’t you that f**** ‘Empire’ n****r?” before they both allegedly attacked the openly gay, black actor. Reports indicated that the men also allegedly tied a noose around his neck and dumped a liquid, possibly bleach, on him before fleeing the scene.
News of the men’s arrests come a day after police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi debunked reports that they were investigating whether Smollett orchestrated the assault.
Media reports anout the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate. pic.twitter.com/iSO5YFv452
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 15, 2019
This is a developing story. Check back with CrimeOnline for updates as they become available.
[Featured image: Jussie Smollett/Victoria Will/Invision/AP]