Facing accusations of perpetrating a hate hoax, Empire actor Jussie Smollett has secured the services of defense attorney Michael Monico.
Monico has defended high-profile individuals from criminal prosecution, such as Michael Cohen.
Smollett’s hiring of the lawyer could be a sign the Chicago actor will be charged by authorities for filing a false police report in regards to his alleged late January attack, a class four felony in Illinois. Smollett claimed he had been attacked by two Trump supporters, who doused him with bleach and chanted racial and homophobic abuse at him.
Monico confirmed he had started representing Smollett in a legal podcast on Thursday.
It appears more likely than ever Smollett had been lying in accusing Trump supporters of attacking him, as sources within the Chicago Police Department now attest.
Smollett may have arranged for two extras on Empire and Nigerian nationals, brothers Ambimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, to have helped stage the attack on him. The Osundairo brothers were arrested and questioned by Chicago Police in regards to their potential role in the attack Friday.
After reports that the brothers were going to be charged, they were released, as the police interview of the brothers created a need for further investigation. It’s possible that they chose to come clean about Smollett’s orchestration of the hate hoax in order to escape criminal prosecution for participating in it.
Smollett had aroused suspicion from police when he provided redacted phone records to officers for the investigation.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had stated that Smollett would be “held accountable” if his allegations were revealed as a hoax, which now seems almost certain.
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