Chicago Police Release Documents From Jussie Smollett Case
Chicago Police have unsealed nearly 400 pages from the Jussie Smollett attack investigation. The documents, which were made public Thursday (May 30), include police interviews with Smollett and the Osundairo brothers who claim that they conspired with the Empire star to pull off a staged assault.
Smollett’s name is mostly redacted throughout the documents, but the report states that he told police that he was attacked on Jan. 29, while walking back to his apartment after buying food from a nearby Subway. According to the investigation, Smollett said that he was on the phone with his manager when he heard two men yell out “Empire fa**ot”, “Empire Ni**er,” and “This is MAGA country” just as he was struck in the face and body causing “minor injuries.” Smollett tussled with the men before they fled the scene, the report states.
After the incident, the 36-year-old actor realized that his phone call with his manager was still connected. The manager told him to go home instead of chasing after the men. Upon returning to his apartment, Smollett noticed a rope around his neck that was “fashioned like a noose,” and that he his shirt was wet from a liquid substance that smelled of bleach. He also told a doorman that he had been “jumped” and continued walking to his apartment. Smollett didn’t want to contact police but was encouraged to report the attack.
Smollett maintained that he was attacked by two white men but could only see the eyes of one of his attackers. Although police supplied Smollett with a printout of potential suspects, he was unable to pinpoint his alleged attackers.
Later in the documents, Smollett goes from being a victim to an “offender.” The report recounts Abimbola Osundairo’s apprehension to speak with authorities because he believed that they would charge him with a crime as police had detained both men for questioning. Olabinjo was interviewed separately but sat in on Abi’s interview to make him feel more comfortable. The brothers’ lawyer was also present during the police interview.
The brothers told police that Smollett commissioned their help because he was unhappy with the lack of response to a threatening letter that was sent to him days before the alleged attack. The report goes on to state that Smollett was shown photos of the brothers and named Ola as his trainer and an extra on Empire. He also recognize Abi, but was unable to name him. Smollett told police that he was sure that his attackers were white noting that the brothers couldn’t have attacked him because they were “black as sin.”
Despite denying involvement in staging an attack, Smollett was accused of filing a false police report and indicted on multiple charges, which were dismissed in March. The brothers went on to file a defamation lawsuit against Smollett’s lawyers, while the city of Chicago sued Smollett to recoup money spent on the investigation.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a source close to Smollett believes that the police documents prove that his story never changed. “The entire case against Jussie, as shown in the police files released today, is based, not on evidence, but on the testimony of the Osundairo brothers — two men who gave multiple versions of their stories and one of whom had a known criminal record,” the source told the Sun-Times. “Given the inconsistencies in the brothers’ stories, the lack of evidence and lack of motive, the State’s Attorney’s office did the proper thing when it dropped the charges.”