A grand jury may be convened to hear evidence in a felony case against actor Jussie Smollett. TMZ reports that a grand jury may hear a case against the Empire star for filing a false police report.
The actor’s hate crime case took a strange turn last week when police released two suspects and said Smollett was no longer considered a victim.
Smollett told police he was assaulted by 2 men who punched him and poured bleach on him in a racist, homophobic attack as he left Subway restaurant at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He said the men tied a noose around his neck and called him “ni–er” and “fa–ot”.
He was still wearing the rope around his neck when he called police 45 minutes later.
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While Smollett made the rounds giving interviews to publications and TV shows, a dozen investigators worked closely with FBI agents to identify two men seen in grainy surveillance video as Nigerian brothers Abel Osundairo and Ola Osundairo.
The brothers were linked to Smollett through phone records and subpoenas to rideshare companies.
Fox32 News quoted sources within the Chicago Police Department who confirmed Smollett paid the two brothers $3,500 to leave for Nigeria after the hoax attack on him. He promised them an additional $500 when they returned to the U.S.
Agents took the brothers into custody at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport when they returned from Nigeria on Wednesday. They were released on Friday after 2 days of interrogations. They reportedly told investigators they purchased a rope and 2 red hats to help Smollett stage a hoax MAGA attack.
“The two suspects released yesterday were, in fact, on the scene and in the surveillance image,” police spokeswoman Jessica Rocco told The Post on Saturday.
During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America that aired Thursday, Smollett insisted the two shadowy figures in the video footage were his attackers.
“I don’t have any doubt in my mind that that’s them. Never did,” Smollett told Roberts.
Smollett retained 3 attorneys, Todd Pugh, Victor Henderson and high-powered defense attorney Michael Monico. Pugh told the Chicago Sun Times he would arrange a possible sit down interview with detectives on Monday, depending upon scheduling availability.
Smollett faces charges of filing a false police report, which is a felony in Illinois. He could face up to three years in prison.
Fans of the singer/songwriter were stunned and dismayed to learn that he faked his racist, homophobic attack.
Celebrities and politicians who supported Smollett after the alleged attack quietly deleted their tweets showing empathy for the actor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deleted her tweet that read:
“The racist, homophobic attack on @JussieSmollett is an affront to our humanity. No one should be attacked for who they are or who they love. I pray that Jussie has a speedy recovery & that justice is served. May we all commit to ending this hate once & for all.”
Democratic Presidential contenders Kamala Harris and Cory Booker also deleted their tweets in support of Smollett.
When asked about Smollett this weekend, Booker told a reporter he was “withholding judgment” until more information becomes available.
None of Smollett’s supporters apologized to Trump supporters for the hate and vitriol directed their way in the two weeks after Smollett’s hoax attack.