UPDATE: Jussie Smollett’s Nigerian Alleged Hate Hoax ‘Attackers’ Have Been Arrested
Yesterday, Chicago police revealed they believe the alleged hate crime committed against ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett that occurred in late January to be a hoax, and today they arrested his supposed co-conspirators, two Nigerian nationals who had roles as extras on the TV show.
ABC 7 Chicago reporter Rob Elgas tweeted today that the “two potential suspects in the Smollett investigation” have been arrested, and are not free to leave police custody.
BREAKING: The two potential suspects in the Smollet investigation ARE under arrest. They are not able to leave; police have them under arrest.
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) February 15, 2019
As Big League Politics reported yesterday, the two men, Nigerian immigrants, are believed to have conspired with Smollett to create the fictitious crime.
Smollett stated that two white men sporting Make America Great Again hats attacked him in late January, beating him, pouring bleach on his person, and tying a noose around his neck. No security camera footage could be found of the attack, Smollett, or the attackers, and Smollett refused to give the Chicago Police Department access to his phone to verify his story.
Police believe the crime may have been staged, in part, to convince the writers of ‘Empire’ that Smollett’s character should remain on the show.
Police believe that Smollett actually orchestrated the attack with the help of two accomplices in part because he was being written out of the show ‘Empire.’ Being the victim of a supposed hate crime could have persuaded the show’s writers to maintain his character’s role.
It’s believed that Smollett obtained assistance from two accomplices, Nigerian nationals who were extras on the show, in staging the event. Police carried out a search warrant on the homes of the suspected fraudsters, who seem to have been two men identified as persons of interest on surveillance camera footage from the night of the supposed event.
The two alleged accomplices then fled the country in late January, returning only earlier this week. Police questioned them about the crime and arrested them Friday.
One of the men allegedly spent time in Smollett’s apartment building, as a Chicago watchdog group located cell phone footage of one man using exercise equipment in his apartment building and reposted it to Twitter on Friday.
And, now, one of the "potential suspects" in the @JussieSmollett case walking upside down on a treadmill in the gym at Smollett's building. #JussieSmollett #ItDoesntWorkThatWay #Chicago pic.twitter.com/umjaf2CiKh
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) February 15, 2019
Smollett and the two Nigerian men may be in serious legal trouble, as lying to the police is considered a Class 4 Felony in the state of Illinois.
Big League Politics is monitoring this story and will provide further coverage as it develops.