Chicago police said on Sunday that they were still looking for an interview with Jussie Smollett after receiving new information that "postponed" her investigation of an alleged attack on the "Empire" player. The investigative trajectory "shifted" after detectives interviewed two brothers after the attack and released them without charge on late Friday, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Saturday.
He said police are turning to Smollett's lawyers to request another interview with him. Guglielmi said on Sunday that the interview had not yet been conducted.
A source close to the investigation tells CBS News that two Nigerian brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, paid the detectives to Smollett to join the attack. They said they bought ropes found around Smollett's neck in a nearby hardware store. After a raid in her house, ropes, masks and bleach were found.
Sources reported to CBS Chicago that the brothers had repeated the attack with Smollett.
Guglielmi declined to comment on the reports that the police believe Smollett staged the attack or could stage a large jury I heard evidence in the case
. "We will not confirm, deny or comment on anything until we can talk to him and we can confirm some of the information we have received," he said.
Smollett, black and gay, said he was physically assaulted by two masked men last month have been racial and anti-gay slurs and "This is MAGA country!" He said they had a rope wrapped around his neck before returning home from an early stop at a subway downtown Chicago restaurant. He said they also had a kind of chemical poured on him. Pamela Sharp, a spokeswoman for Smollett, said there would be no updates on Sunday. Another spokeswoman, Anne Kavanagh, later said she could not comment on whether Smollett had agreed to another interview.
Smollett's lawyers said late Saturday that the actor was "angry and devastated" and felt criticized by reports he played as a "victim" role in the attack, adding, "Nothing is further from the truth and everyone who says otherwise lies. "
. Lawyers Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson also said Smollett would continue to work with the police. "Currently, Jussie and his lawyers have no inclination to respond to" unnamed "sources in the investigation, but will continue the discussions by official channels," the statement says.
"One of these alleged suspects was Jussie's personal assistant trainer, whom he hired to physically prepare him for a music video, and it is impossible to believe that person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or falsely claim Jussie's complicity "added the statement.
The other brother played A Prisoner in the second season of "Empire."
The police said they were interrogating surveillance videos in the heavily monitored area where Smollett reported the attack, but were unable to find any record of the incident. They received pictures of two people whom they said they would like to question.
Both brothers apparently left Chicago on the day of the alleged attack. On Wednesday, the Chicago police picked her up at O'Hare International Airport when they returned from Nigeria. They referred to them as "suspects" in the attack, questioned them and searched their homes.
Later on Friday night, they released the two men without charge and said they were no longer suspects. They said they received new information from their interrogation.
The police said they investigated the attack as a potential hate crime and considered Smollett a victim.
Reports of the riots drew indignation and support in the social media from some politicians and celebrities. Smollett's report on the events was also skeptical, especially in the wake of recent developments.
Smollett, also a musician, gave an emotional speech to the show during a concert on February 2 in West Hollywood, California, because he was unable to win his attackers.
He also gave an interview to Robin Roberts of ABC News, which aired on Thursday, saying he was "angry" with people who did not believe he was being attacked.
"I've heard that it was a bad date, which I will also annoy about this narrative," he said. "I do not go out and get a tuna sandwich and a salad to meet someone, it's ridiculous and it's offensive."
Earlier this week, the police reported that the attack on Smollett was a joke. 19659003] The producers of the Fox television drama supported Smollett and said his character on "Empire", Jamal Lyon, was not being written off the series.
Smollett hands over revised phone data, which according to the police for a criminal is insufficient investigation.