Jussie Smollet’s suspected attackers are brothers from Nigeria, but that isn’t the only new detail that has come out about them. The Blast reports that Abel and Ola Osundairo were once both in massive amounts of debt due to student loans and other expenses. According to the article, their financial status was so dire that they both filed for bankruptcy in 2016.
In documents reportedly obtained by the celebrity news site, Ola claims to have had $161,481 in debt, with the majority of that resulting from student loans. As for Abel, his debt was allegedly $72,771 with almost $40,000 in student loans. They both claimed to be earning less than $200 a month.
The brothers cited a party store in Chicago as an “asset,” but The Blast reports that the business has closed and that it was not operating at a profit when it was open.
In the end, the brothers’ bankruptcy was discharged, which means that they were released from their liabilities.
As TMZ previously reported, both men were arrested in connection to the attack on the Empire actor and the police are now referring to them as “potential suspects” instead of “persons of interest.” Police also raided their home and found materials that were used during the attack, according to the account offered by Smollett. Both brothers were extras on the show, which has led some to speculate that the actor may have colluded with them to stage the attack.
This speculation was bolstered by reports from two different Chicago-based reporters who said that their sources had told them that Smollet set up the attack because he believed that he was being written off the show. As the Inquisitr reported, the Chicago Police Department’s spokesperson, Anthony Guglielmi, said that the reports are “unconfirmed.”
“Media reports about 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.”
Jussie Smollett, who has had a major role on Empire since its first season, has claimed that two men physically assaulted him on January 29 while hurling racist and homophobic slurs. He also alleged that both men poured a chemical substance on him which is believed to have been bleach. As CNN reports, early stories about the attack claimed that the men were wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats. Smollett later said that was untrue.
Update: The Chicago Police’s spokesperson has announced that the Osundairo brothers have been released without charges due to new evidence revealed during interrogations.
Case Update: 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. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019