The Empire actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to all 16 charges against him for the case of lying to the police about his attack.
The African-American gay actor reported to the police, on January 29, that he’d been attacked by two masked men who were yelling racial and homophobic slurs. According to his deposition, the two men struck him in the face, draped a rope around his neck and poured him with an “unknown chemical substance”.
The event took an unconventional twist after the police arrested two Nigerian brothers, who were identified in the surveillance footage of the incident.
Apparently, the actor knows both of his alleged attackers. One of the men had appeared as an extra in the American series Empire, while the other used to be Smollet’s personal trainer.
The Empire actor Jussie Smollett is now under investigation for staging his attack and lying to the police.
The detectives released the brothers without any charges. According to the statements, new evidence had risen during the questionnaires and the brothers confessed to the plot.
According to Local TV station CBS 2 News, sources indicate a connection with Jussie to the attack. It is believed the actor paid the two men $3,500 to stage the attack.
CNN also reported that the police had evidence the attack had been coordinated.
So far, the actor’s representatives refuse all claims. According to his lawyers: “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,”