The “memo” line of the check “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett gave to two brothers to allegedly carry out a staged hate crime against him reads, “5 week Nutrition/Workout program (Don’t Go),” ABC News revealed on Monday Morning.
ABC obtained a copy of the now-infamous check, which can be viewed here.
The check was made out to Abimbola Osundairo, one of the two brothers who allegedly carried out the fake hate crime, on January 23 — six days before the “attack.” Olabinjo Osundairo is the name of the other brother involved in the case.
Sources close to Smollett told ABC News the actor was starting to train for an upcoming music video titled “Don’t Go,” in which he had to appear shirtless. ABC News obtained a calendar entry of Smollett’s that indicates the video was scheduled to be filmed Feb. 23.
The $3,500 check was $600 per week for the workout plan, plus $100 per week for the nutrition plan, over five weeks, a source close to Smollett told ABC News.
According to Smollett, he was targeted in the streets of downtown Chicago on January 29 by two white Trump supporters for being gay and black. The two brothers physically assaulted him and called him a “n*****” and a “f*****,” he claimed. Smollett also claimed they tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and told him he was in “MAGA country” — a reference to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”
About two weeks before the “attack,” Smollett received a threatening letter with the acronym “MAGA” written in the return address space and contained a drawing of a curly-haired stick-figure being hanged with a noose by another stick-figure. “You will die black f***,” it read in cutout letters from magazines.
According to Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the attack on January 29 was staged by Smollett, and the threatening letter was also sent by him.
Appearing on “Good Morning America” on Monday, Johnson said the brothers told authorities that the $3,500 check was really given to them to carry out the attack.
“Let me tell, you, Robin, there’s a lot more evidence that hasn’t been presented yet, and does not support the version he gave,” said the police chief. “There’s still a lot of physical evidence, video evidence and testimony that just simply does not support his version of what happened.”
“It’s important for people to recognize that it’s not the Chicago Police Department saying he did something, it’s the evidence, the facts and the witnesses that are saying this,” he added.
At a press conference last week, Johnson told reporters of the Smollett case: “To be quite honest, it’s shameful. It painted this city that we all love and work hard in a negative connotation. To insinuate and to stage a hate crime of that nature — when he knew, as a celebrity, it would get a lot of attention — it’s despicable.”
Smollett surrendered himself to police at 5 A.M. on Thursday morning after he was officially charged by the Cook County, Illinois state attorney’s office with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.