“Investigators believe Jussie Smollett and the non-cooperating witnesses in the alleged attack of Smollett last month ‘potentially staged the attack,’ sources tell CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards,” CBS 2 in Chicago reported Thursday. The report was part of a wave of media reports Thursday prompting a response from the Chicago P.D. dismissing reports of a possible hoax attack in the “Empire incident” as “unconfirmed.”
At the same time, media reports raised the possibility that two Nigerian brothers who had been questioned in connection with the incident might be charged as early as Friday.
The CBS 2 report added: “Chicago police raided the home of two ‘persons of interest’ Wednesday night, a relative of those men says. Police took bleach, shoes, electronics, receipts and other items from the home.”
“The men, who are both of Nigerian descent, have appeared as extras on the show and their attorney, Gloria Schmidt, says they do both know Smollett,” the report added.
Schmidt is quoted in the report saying: “They do know Jussie. They have worked with him on ‘Empire.’ My preliminary investigations show that on set it’s very tight. They’re all very cordial with each other, so they’re baffled why they are people of interest.”
TMZ reported that five bottles of bleach, a red hat, two laptops and other items were seized in the raid. TMZ also noted that Chicago police reportedly confirmed that the two men taken in for questioning are the same men seen in a photo taken from surveillance video, which can be seen by clicking here.
The Chicago P.D. later responded to reports of a possible hoax, dismissing the reports as inaccurate. Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the department, sent out a tweet to that effect Thursday afternoon, which you can see below.