Last week, the Chicago Police Department revealed that in the wake of the alleged hate crime involving former Empire actor Jussie Smollett, someone Googled the actor’s name 57 times. This information was determined by analyzing web browsing history. At the time, law enforcement did not specifically state the name of the person doing all this online research.
Many thought it could have been one of the Osundairo brothers, who were allegedly paid to orchestrate the attack on Smollett. Nevertheless, new reports claim that it was actually Smollett himself, Googling his own name over and over, according to The Washington Examiner.
Back in January, 37-year-old Smollett was walking around downtown Chicago by himself in the middle of the night. He claims that on this particular night, he was targeted in what he described to be a racist and homophobic-fueled attack. Smollett is African-American and identifies as openly gay. He also formerly portrayed a gay character on Empire. He claimed that two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, before physically attacking him, tying a rope around his neck, and throwing bleach at him.
At first, much of America was quick to come to his support and offer him encouragement. But before long, details of the attack started to fall apart. Eventually, Abel and Ola Osundairo were arrested for suspected connection with the crime. They then told police that Smollett had actually asked them to attack him and paid them after the event transpired.
Smollett was facing felony charges for filing a false police report before all charges against him were suddenly dropped in a turn of events that shocked the nation.
— Variety (@Variety) June 24, 2019
Even now, months after the Smollett saga took place, new information is coming out about what happened and the actor’s online activity in the days following the alleged hate crime.
The actor’s search history from the days following the attack show that he was trying to find out as much information as he could about the investigation. He searched his name 57 different times, sometimes entering in his full name and sometimes simply typing “Juss.” On some occasions, he Googled himself multiple times a day.
There are also some search entries about obtaining a U.S. visa that are believed to be in relation to the Osundairo brothers.
Smollett has maintained his innocence since the beginning. On his birthday, he posted a photo of himself as a baby.
“Grateful for LOVE. Grateful for y’all. Grateful for another year around the sun,” the post read.