Jussie Smollett: From Victim To An Arrest

The Jussie Smollett case is proving to be a strange unfoldment of events that only seem to happen in films and novels. Smollett has now been charged with disorderly conduct by prosecutors in Chicago. The prosecutors state that Smollett filed a false police report for the purposes of staging his own assault. Smollett was arrested on Thursday.


On Tuesday, January 29th, Empire actor Jussie Smollett was allegedly attacked by two men as they yelled out racial and homophobic slurs. Smollett, who is openly gay, was apparently heading home at 2 a.m. when the men attacked. They poured an unknown substance on him and tied a noose around his neck before fleeing. The two men were masked, says Smollett, and also yelled, “This is MAGA country” before they fled. The Chicago Police treated the attack as a possible hate crime.


After the attack, detectives reviewed surveillance footage of the area surrounding the reported time of the attack. They identified and released  photos of two “potential persons of interest”, Chicago Police reported.


On Feb. 13th, Chicago Police raided the house of Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, two brothers of Nigeria descent who were allegedly part of the attack on Smollett. While the two brothers were detained by police, (after landing in Chicago on a flight from Nigeria), the police found: a black face mask hat, an Empire script, phone, receipts, a red hat and bleach in their home.


On Feb. 14th, Smollett appeared on ‘Good Morning America’ where he addressed the criticisms.  He stated “It feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, a Mexican or someone black, the doubters would have supported me much more,” Smollett told ABC’s Robin Roberts, a lot more.”


The next day the two brothers were released from custody without being charged and were no longer considered potential suspects. It was only a day following that Chicago police announced they were planning  to interview Smollett again. Apparently the two brothers told the Chicago police they were paid to take part in the hoax. This shifted the direction of the investigation.


On Feb. 20th Smollett was charged with a felony and a disorderly conduct charge in connection to the police report he filed. His lawyer issued a statement:


“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this, one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”


The producers behind Fox’s “Empire” have decided to remove actor Jussie Smollett’s character from the final two episodes of the current season following his arrest this week. The decision, producers said, was made to “avoid further disruption on set.”


By Ryan Nickerson

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)