Update – 10:55 p.m. ET: “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 charges and detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a tweet.
— Original story —
Two men have been arrested in connection with the attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who are brothers from Nigeria, are likely to be charged with battery, according to TMZ. Police raided the brothers’ home on Thursday, where they found several bottles of bleach.
Smollett initially told police that he was attacked by two men outside a Subway restaurant in Chicago during the early morning hours of January 29th. The 36-year-old actor, who is openly gay, described the assailants as white men wearing ski masks, who asked Smollett if he was “that f***ot Empire n*****?” before attacking him with a rope and bleach. As they fled the scene the men yelled, “This is MAGA country!” according to Smollett.
TMZ reports that Olabinjo Osundairo appeared in an episode of Empire during its second season. The brothers’ connection to Smollett is unclear — however, police have ruled out local media reports that they conspired with Smollett to stage the attack.
Police previously released a surveillance photo of two men near the scene of the incident, who Smollett identified as his attackers. It is believed that Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo are the men in the photo.