Empire star, Jussie Smollett, has been indicted for felony by the grand jury for filing false police report and is now facing a possible 3 years in prison.
Smollett had reported that he was attacked by two homophobic persons wearing masks. They had put a rope around his neck and he sustained severe injuries that landed him in the hospital.
A Cook County Grand Jury handed down the indictment late Wednesday, after grand jurors heard testimonies and evaluated evidence.
According to TMZ, Jussie’s attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, released the following 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 and aggressive defense.”
Smollett’s False Report Revealed
TMZ reports that the two persons of interest, Abel and Ola Osundairo, who are Nigerians and brothers told Grand Jurors that they staged the so-called “attack” at Jussie’s behest and even got paid for it.
The brothers were caught on camera buying a bunch of supplies before the incident … including ski masks, gloves, bandanas, sunglasses and red hats.
Although police officially called Jussie a “victim” until recently, multiple law enforcement sources told TMZ the police had real doubts about Jussie’s story early on. They found it weird he kept the rope around his neck for 42 minutes after the “attack,” and were suspicious when he took them to the scene and immediately pointed to a camera which he said captured the incident. Turns out, the camera was pointed in the wrong direction.
Abel and Ola told police they drove with Jussie in the days prior to the incident scouting a location and even rehearsed the “attack.”
Law enforcement believes Jussie timed the “attack” for January 29th because he knew the Osundairo brothers were leaving for Nigeria that day.
Gloria Schmidt, the lawyer for Ola and Abel Osundairo, just said her clients testified before the Grand Jury for 2 and a half hours and laid out their story that Jussie put them up to a fake assault. Schmidt said the brothers testified separately and they have no criminal exposure.
The 2 brothers who claim Jussie Smollett staged the attack say he paid them $3,500 before the attack, but the reason for the payment is muddled.
Sources tell TMZ, Jussie wrote a check for the $3,500, but he wrote on the memo line on the check it was for training.
Sources connected to Jussie tell TMZ, the money — paid shortly before the incident — was for workout sessions and a dietary regimen.
Sources connected to the brothers tell TMZ, Jussie was indeed paying for training, but he threw in more money than they were owed. When pressed, our sources admit Jussie did not say any additional money was for participation in the alleged scheme, but they say it was clear to all.