Jussie Smollett’s story of being a victim of a hate crime is now being questioned by police and fans after it was revealed that the Empire star may have paid two men to attack him.
According to Variety, Jussie Smollett told Chicago police that he was attacked by two men wearing masks in late January. The actor revealed that the men yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him to get his attention and then poured a chemical substance on him before hitting him with their hands and putting a rope around his neck.
Jussie went to the hospital but was soon released with only minor injuries following the attack. Rumors began to fly about Smollett’s involvement in the attack when the actor refused to hand over his phone records, and when he finally did, police claimed the records were redacted.
Finally, cops got two suspects and arrested a set of brothers, whom they believed to be the attackers. However, it is now being reported that Smollett knows the suspects and that one of them is his personal trainer.
After allegations that Jussie Smollett may have paid off the men to attack him in order to possibly gain more fame or have a platform to become more of an activist. However, after the allegations surfaced online, the actor released a statement denying any involvement in the incident and said that he is both “angered and devastated” over the allegations.
“It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity,” Smollett’s attorneys, Victor P. Henderson and Todd S. Pugh, said in a statement on the actor’s behalf.
The statement continues to state Jussie’s innocence and reveals that the actor will keep working with the Chicago Police Department in hopes of getting the story straight and figuring out what happened on the night of his attack.
The lawyers also claim that their client is the victim of a hate crime, and he continues to feel victimized by the rumors swirling around him at this time.
“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack,” the statement continues.
Many fans are now unsure what to believe, but that Chicago P.D. has revealed that if Jussie Smollett did have something to do with staging his own attack, they will file charges against the Empire actor.