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Jussie Smollet May Still Be Charged Over Hate Crime Hoax
Empire actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail after posting bond on February 21, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Speculation about whether “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett may yet be charged for orchestrating a hate crime hoax intensified after the two brothers who say the actor hired them to attack him met with the special prosecutor working on the case.

Abel and Ola Osundairo said earlier this year that Smollett hired them to attack him while he was out in Chicago one early, frigid morning so that he could negotiate a higher salary on “Empire.” TMZ reported this weekend that the brothers met with Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, who was assigned to look into the deal that allowed Smollett to get off the hook for faking the attack by paying $10,000 and performing 16 hours of community service.

“Sources close to the case tell TMZ … Abel and Ola met with Dan Webb’s team this week because the special prosecutor wanted to hear their full story — their version of Jussie’s alleged attack,” TMZ reported. “Our sources say the brothers each spent a couple hours with the special prosecutor’s team.”

Smollett was original indicted on 16 felony accounts for allegedly making up the attack. Smollett had claimed in late January that he went to a Subway sandwich restaurant at two in the morning during a polar vortex. As he was returning home, he claimed, two white men wearing pro-Trump hats attacked him, poured bleach on him, tied a noose around his neck, and shouted racial and homophobic slurs. This account required people to believe there are Trump supporters in Deep Blue Chicago who spend their nights trawling for someone to attack – and that these same people watch “Empire” and knew who Smollett was.

The charges against Smollett were dismissed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said she had recused herself from the case due to a conflict of interest yet her influence was still seen in the plea deal. Then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the office’s decision to drop the charges a “whitewash of justice.”

A special prosecutor was appointed to look into how the case unraveled. The City of Chicago is also still looking into ways to force Smollett to repay them for the time and resources spent on investigating the alleged hoax.

TMZ also reported that Webb has his own conflict-of-interest issues, but a Chicago judge ruled Friday that it does not appear as though Webb is biased. Webb had donated $1,000 to Foxx’s campaign and hosted a fundraiser for her.

Page Six reported that Webb has the power to reinstate charges against Smollett.

Last week, Smollett lashed out at a self-help guru who compared him to 12-year-old Amari Allen, who had claimed white boys at her school held her down, cut her dreads, and hurled racial slurs at her. After the media incredulously reported her crimes, Allen admitted she made up the story and her grandparents apologized on her behalf.

Smollett claimed he was nothing like Allen despite the similar stories:

With all due respect brother, y’all can clown me all you want but my story has actually never changed and I haven’t lied about a thing. Y’all can continue to be misinformed, internalized sheep, who believe what actual proven liars feed you or you can read the actual docs. Either way, I’mma be alright. I know me and what happened. You don’t. So carry on. All love.

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