An attorney whose client list includes former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is now representing actor Jussie Smollett.
As CrimeOnline has previously reported, the star of “Empire” claimed last month that he was the victim of an apparent hate crime outside of a Chicago Subway restaurant.
In the weeks since, police have investigated his claims and earlier this week arrested two brothers identified as Nigerians who had roles as extras on the same television series.
Rumors swirled that they were involved, perhaps along with Smollett, in staging the incident. But Chicago police shot down such allegations, stating there was no evidence the attack was a hoax and that Smollett was being treated as a victim, not a suspect.
Michael Monico, a former Illinois prosecutor now working as a criminal defense attorney, acknowledged in a radio interview this week that he is representing the actor, as reported by Page Six.
“Yes, at the moment I am,” he said without adding any details regarding the scope of his representation or how long Smollett has been a client.
The brothers arrested in connection with the case — later identified as Ola Osundairo and Abel Osundairo — were subsequently released without charge after police reportedly removed items including a mask and bleach from their home.
“Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging,” said Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi in a media statement on Friday. “Detectives have additional investigative work to complete.”
[Featured image: Jussie Smollett, Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP]