Nigerian Scam: Jussie Smollett Staged Hate Crime On Himself According To Police
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s hate crime story seems to be imploding. New evidence has surfaced showing the alleged assault was paid for by Smollett himself. He paid two Nigerian brothers to orchestrate the attack on him, according to law enforcement officials. Smollett has lawyered up and now has some major explaining to do.
CBS News Chicago reports: “Sources say at least one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett’s request. The sources also say the ‘Empire’ actor paid for the rope, which was purchased at the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store the weekend of Jan. 25. The brothers were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return.” Oops.
“2 #CPD sources tell @fox32news the brothers arrested & released in #JussieSmollett case told detectives they were paid by the #Empire actor to orchestrate the attack,” Fox 32 Chicago reporter Rafer Weigel tweeted out. “Detectives also have a receipt for the rope found on #Smollett neck showing the brothers bought it.”
Smollett had painted the attack as homophobic and racially motivated. Instead, it’s beginning to look like a Nigerian scam of sorts.
CNN is also reporting that two Chicago law enforcement officials have told them that they now think that Smollett paid the two brothers to stage the attack. CNN noted that “the sources told CNN that there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at an Ace Hardware store in Chicago.”
“The new direction of the investigation is now based on the premise that Mr. Smollett was an active participant in the incident,” a law enforcement source told Deadline.
“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has, in fact, shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” Chicago Police Chief Communications Officer Anthony stated. “We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”
#Breaking: 2 #CPD sources tell @fox32news the brothers arrested & released in #JussieSmollett case told detectives they were paid by the #Empire actor to orchestrate the attack. Detectives also have a receipt for the rope found on #Smollett neck showing the brothers bought it.
— Rafer Weigel (@RaferWeigel) February 17, 2019
The two Nigerian brothers were originally arrested by police last Wednesday “at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and their apartment was searched Thursday,” reported the AP. “They were questioned Friday but police were obliged to release them if they had not been charged within 48 hours.”
“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 and detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” read another tweet.
Case Update: 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 and detectives have additional investigative work to complete. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019
From The Daily Wire:
“On January 29, Smollett claimed that he was attacked in the early morning hours near his apartment in Chicago. “Two masked assailants poured ‘an unknown chemical substance’ on him, possibly bleach, and wrapped a rope around his neck, he told police,” according to ABC News. “In a follow-up interview with police, Smollett alleges that the attackers yelled ‘MAGA country,’ a reference to President Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan.”
“Within hours of the alleged attack, Democrats, including socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), immediately tweeted on the story without waiting for all the facts to come out.
“There is no such thing as ‘racially charged,'” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “This attack was not ‘possibly’ homophobic. It was a racist and homophobic attack. If you don’t like what is happening to our country, then work to change it. It is no one’s job to water down or sugar-coat the rise of hate crimes.”
“In an interview on Good Morning America, Smollett said: “It feels like if I had said it was a Muslim or a Mexican or someone black (who attacked me), I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot much more, a lot more and that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now.”
“For me, the main thing was the idea that I somehow switched up my story, you know? And that somehow maybe I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing,” Smollett continued. “I didn’t need to add anything like that. They called me a f—-, they called me a n—-. There’s no which way you cut it. I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of some racist sundae.”‘
There is no such thing as “racially charged.”
This attack was not “possibly” homophobic. It was a racist and homophobic attack.
If you don’t like what is happening to our country, then work to change it. It is no one’s job to water down or sugar-coat the rise of hate crimes. https://t.co/QAi0IYtSeR
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 30, 2019
Originally, Smollett’s attorneys released a statement saying that the reports of the Chicago police believing the attack was staged by Smollett were not true and that he was “angered and devastated.” Suddenly, they are now quiet on that front.
Here is what they are saying:
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” the statement from Smollett’s lawyers said. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
“One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video,” the statement continued. “It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.”
“Jussie and his attorney’s anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate,” the statement concluded. “At present time, Jussie and his attorney’s have no inclination to respond to ‘unnamed’ sources inside the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels.”
CPD Spox: Jussie Smollett is no longer considered a victim in this case
— Mike Tobin (@MikeTobinFox) February 17, 2019
More from WBBM-TV:
“Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and yelled slurs at Smollett.
“The sources say the red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29. The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening.”
Smollett case news. Backing up @RaferWeigel report: @ABC confirms detectives were able to confront the 2 brothers
with evidence they purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at an Ace hardware store. The brothers agreed to cooperate with police.
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) February 17, 2019
A Chicago Police spokesman said that Smollett is no longer considered a “victim” in the case. Looks like Smollett has been caught in a high-profile hoax. If so, “Empire” will cut him loose no doubt and his career will be pretty much over. Or at least, it should be.
Don’t look for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to apologize though. She’ll just act like she never said anything.
As for CNN, they’ll ignore it pretty much… it’s not ‘fake’ enough for their news outlet.
BREAKING: As first reported by FOX 32 Chicago, @JoshMargolin reports 2 officials familiar with the Smollett investigation confirm to @ABC detectives were able to confront the 2 brothers w/ evidence that they purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at Ace hardware store.
— 𝕊𝕥𝕖𝕡𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕚𝕖 𝕎𝕒𝕤𝕙 (@WashNews) February 17, 2019
Chicago police tell @ABC detectives are eager to speak to Jussie Smollett again urgently. “We have been in touch with Smollett’s attorneys. We contacted his attorneys last night. We made our intentions clear.”
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) February 17, 2019
Jussie Smollett reportedly reimbursed the brothers for buying the rope pic.twitter.com/yegXGm9Rc7
— Steve Lookner (@lookner) February 17, 2019
NEW: Sources say at least one of the brothers purchased the rope used in Jussie Smollett incident at Crafty Beaver hardware store the weekend of Jan 25th.
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 17, 2019
.@GMA and @RobinRoberts have a lot of explaining to do. They gave @JussieSmollett a platform despite ALL the problems with his story. Their coverage, and lack of patience and due diligence is the definition of #FakeNews.
— Brad Thor (@BradThor) February 17, 2019