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CHICAGO, IL. (THECOUNT) — The two brothers arrested and questioned in the Jussie Smollett case told detectives they were paid by the “Empire” actor to orchestrate an attack, multiple Chicago Police Department sources said Saturday.
The sources say the brothers claimed they were paid by Smollett. The brothers’ attorney said both knew Smollett.
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Fox32News is reporting that police found a receipt for the rope found on Smollett’s neck in the brothers’ possession showing they had purchased it from an Ace Hardware in Chicago.
ABC13 is reporting, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett and the two men staged the MAGA attack allegedly because he was about to get fired from the popular TV series.
Chicago police confirmed Thursday that detectives are talking to two persons of interest in connection with the alleged attack on “Empire” actor Smollett.
Multiple sources have told ABC7 Eyewitness News that police are investigating whether Smollett and the two men staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of “Empire.”
A source familiar with the investigation told the ABC7 I-Team that Smollett failed to appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday.
A source briefed on the Smollett investigation confirmed to ABC News that Chicago police are questioning the two persons of interest — one of whom has appeared on “Empire.”
The law enforcement official also told ABC News that the homes of the persons of interest were raided Wednesday night. Police removed shoes, electronic devices and other items they believe could help them they determine if the two people played any role in the assault from those homes.
Chicago police said they “cannot confirm any of those reports.” No charges have been filed.
Earlier, police said the two persons of interest are not suspects and have not been charged. Investigators are only talking with them at this time. The two were picked up Wednesday night at O’Hare International Airport, police said.
Smollett said he was attacked around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29 in the 300-block of East North Water Street in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. He told police two masked men shouted homophobic slurs at him, attacked him, put a rope around his neck and poured a liquid on him that smelled like bleach.
Smollett, 36, is black and openly gay.
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