A grand jury is reportedly scheduled to hear actor Jussie Smollett’s case next week. The “Empire” star is accused of orchestrating a fake attack on himself in January.
TMZ reports that law enforcement sources revealed that two brothers who were arrested last week in connections to Smollett’s alleged attack in Chicago, were released after authorities obtained “new information” in the case.
While it’s unclear exactly what the new information is, police reportedly found magazines in their Chicago apartment with some of the pages cut out. Smollett allegedly received a paper with magazine letters cut out that spelled, “You will die f**.”
The threat was mailed to Smollett eight days before the alleged attack.
Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month https://t.co/GtCq1pcwpa pic.twitter.com/RaZZFv8FTz
— CNN (@CNN) February 17, 2019
Further, the brothers, who met Smollett while working as extras on “Empire,” reportedly bought the rope found around Smollet’s neck from the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store on January 25. While police reportedly have receipts of the purchase, security videos at the store erase after a week; authorities apparently didn’t obtain a warrant to search the videos in time.
Update on @JussieSmollett alleged hate crime case:
• Threat letter with white powder was mailed from SW suburbs
• Cops know "potential persons of interest" to be "two bums."
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) February 4, 2019
When Smollett found out who authorities arrested, he supposedly declined to press charges, allegedly claiming he felt bad because he was friends with the brothers.
Police never found surveillance video of the alleged attack. Smollett claimed two men attacked him on January 29, called him”‘Empire’ fa***t” and “‘Empire’ n***er,” then poured bleach on him and wrapped a rope around his neck while striking him.
CNN reports the Smollett denied making the attack up, but law enforcement sources close to the investigation said investigators think otherwise.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Jussie Smollett via Victoria Will/Invision/AP]