Page Six is reporting that two Nigerian brothers may be charges in Jussie Smollett’s attack.
According to the media house, the brothers have identified as “persons of interest” in the alleged hate attack on Jussie Smollett, and they could face criminal charges on Friday, their attorney Gloria Schmidt told CBS News.
“They are baffled about why they are people of interest,” Schmidt told the network. “It’s an awful thing that happened to Jussie, but it’s not my guys.”
She further added that the Nigerian brothers, who have not been identified, worked with Smollett on the set of his hit TV show “Empire” and worked out with him at the gym. However, she insisted her clients had nothing to do with the alleged assault on Jan. 29 in Chicago – in which Smollett claims two men shouted racist and gay slurs at him, punched him, doused him with a “chemical substance” that could’ve been bleach and threw a noose around his neck.
Schmidt said the brothers were just as stunned as everyone else over the 2 a.m. beatdown. “This is someone that they know, this is someone that they’ve worked with,” she said. “So they don’t want to see somebody go through that.”
The brothers had left for Nigeria the same day as the alleged attack, according to CBS News., but were detained by police after arriving Wednesday at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The police raided their home in the Windy City, removing bleach, a “black facemask hat,” a red hat, an “Empire” script, receipts and other items.
However, some sources have told the Chicago affiliates for both ABC and CBS on Thursday that investigators were looking into whether the men helped Smollett stage the attack because he was being written off the Fox show. Although, this claim was shut down by Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, who said, “Media reports about [sic] the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives,” he tweeted. “Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate.”
Also, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment denied Smollett’s character in “Empire” was about to be written off. “The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of EMPIRE is patently ridiculous,” it said. “He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”