Two Nigerian brothers who have been arrested in connection to the Jussie Smollett investigation were reportedly former extras on ‘EMPIRE’!
UPDATE (3/26/19), 11:35 AM EST: The charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett — over allegedly staging a racial attack against himself in Chicago on January 29 — have all been dropped, his Chicago-based attorney Ronald Safer confirms to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television issued the following statement (on March 26, 2019 at 1:15 PM EST) in wake of this development: “Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed.”
UPDATE: Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening, Feb. 15, that it has released the two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that detectives had discovered new information through their interviews with the suspects. “Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Chicago police have arrested two Nigerian brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, in connection to the Jussie Smollett case based on probable cause that the two may have been involved in an alleged crime, according to TMZ and AP News. While the brothers, whom TMZ claims were both extras on EMPIRE at one point, were previously treated as persons of interest, they are now officially suspects. However, police have yet to charge them.
Jussie Smollett’s team and Chicago police previously quelled a report by ABC 7 in Chicago that claimed the attack was allegedly staged and that it was orchestrated because Smollett was being written off the show. Reps for Smollett told Variety that claims that the attack had been staged were “ridiculous rumors.” In response to the report’s claims that Jussie was being written off the show, 20th Century Fox and Fox Entertainment released a joint statement: “The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of EMPIRE is patently ridiculous. He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”
Smollett also opened up about feeling frustrated that people doubted his story on Good Morning America. “It feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more,” Smollett told Robin Roberts. “A lot more.” Smollett was attacked on Jan. 29 around 2 A.M. Two men reportedly yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, beat him up, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck. We’ll keep you posted with any new developments in this ongoing situation.