Chicago law enforcement officials have officially declared actor Jussie Smollett to be a suspect in a criminal investigation on Wednesday for allegedly committing the felonious act of filing a false police report.
Chicago Police Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted: "Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury."
"Chicago detectives investigating an alleged attack on Jussie Smollett are working to obtain the actor's financial records, a high-ranking police source said Wednesday," CNN reported. "Smollett's attorneys met with Cook County prosecutors earlier Wednesday, according to Chicago Police spokesman Tom Ahern. But a source close to actor's team told CNN that he has not given police a follow-up interview and no such meeting is scheduled."
Smollett's case began on January 22, 2019, when the actor received a threatening letter at the Fox studio where "Empire" is filmed.
Two brothers, who are believed to have orchestrated the attack on Smollett at Smollett's instruction, claimed that Smollett was also behind sending the threatening letter to himself.
"The FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service are currently investigating whether Jussie Smollett played a role in sending a threatening letter addressed to him at 'Empire’s' Chicago studio prior to the alleged attack," ABC News reported, after confirming with two federal officials. "The accusation, made by the two brothers who were persons of interest, has not been confirmed."
"Ever just look at someone and think... this mufucca is going to be the reason I go to jail," Smollett posted to his Instagram account the day after the letter was mailed.
CBS News reported on Monday that Smollett is believed to have orchestrated the attack on himself because he was upset that the letter did not get a "bigger reaction."
Over the weekend, TMZ reported that Chicago law enforcement officials were suspicious of Smollett's claims from early on in their investigation:
The sources say there were red flags from the get-go. Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video. Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.
And, there's this. We're told investigators didn't believe the 2 alleged attackers screamed, "This is MAGA country," because, "Not a single Trump supporter watches 'Empire.'"
On Wednesday, CBS Chicago released an exclusive video that allegedly showed the two brothers buying supplies they used in the attack. CBS Chicago reported:
The video shows Ola and Abel Osundairo placing the masks and a hat on the counter. Smollett has claimed two men wearing a similar hat and masks attacked him on Jan. 29 in Streeterville, according to police. CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar made multiple phone calls and visited several stores to obtain the video.
The Osundairos were arrested last week, but later released without charges.
Sources have said the two brothers told police they helped stage the attack with Smollett. They said they were paid $3,500 to pour a chemical on the actor, and place a rope around his neck, while yelling racist and homophobic slurs.