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Jussie Smollett's alleged hate crime headed to the grand jury next week

The "Empire" actor released a statement via his lawyers on Saturday.


Jussie Smollett's assault case is headed to the grand jury early next week, TMZ reports.

According to sources, the two men who were arrested and released after evidence suggested Smollett orchestrated his own attack are now staying in downtown Chicago "under the watchful eye" of Chicago PD. Police want to make sure Smollett doesn't have direct contact after the Nigerian brothers reportedly told law enforcement Smollett paid them to physically assault him on Jan. 29.

Chicago PD raided the home of Olabinjo (Ola) and Abimbola (Abel) Osundairo on Feb. 13 looking for evidence of their involvement in the attack. Officials reportedly discovered five bottles of bleach and magazines with pages torn out of them. They are reportedly trying to find a connection between the missing magazine pages and the threatening letters Smollett received just days before his assault.

Law enforcement also believes the two brothers purchased the rope that was found around Smollett's neck and allegedly used as a noose in the incident, but sources say there isn't any footage of their purchase from the hardware store because "it erases after a week."

As previously reported, police tracked down the men exact location on the night of Smollett's attack by looking into their rideshare activity. "It was almost like a bad spy movie," a source reportedly told TMZ.

Smollett refused to sign a complaint against the two brothers after learning of their identity while they were in custody. The brothers previously worked on the set of "Empire" as extras and one of them has been identified as Smollett's personal trainer.

On Saturday (Feb. 16), Smollett's lawyer issued a statement writing, "As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."

The statement continued, "One of these purported suspects was Jussie's personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. 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 lawyer concluded, "Jussie and his attorneys anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate. At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to 'unnamed' sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels."

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