Everything We Know About the Arrests in Jussie Smollett's Case

At least one of the two men police detained in connection with the case reportedly worked on ‘Empire.’
Jussie Smollett
Photo by Stephen Green / Getty Images

UPDATE [February 16, 2019]: The two suspects in the Smollett assault case were released from custody without charges, according to Chicago PD spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi. New evidence found during police interrogations cleared them of any connection to the attack. Police is continuing its investigations into the incident.

On Wednesday, Chicago Police arrested two brothers in connection to the attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett last month. Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi announced on Friday that the brothers were "potential suspects," though they haven't been charged with any crimes—and at least one suspect worked on Empire, the Associated Press reports.


The brothers—identified by their attorney as Obabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, who are of Nigerian descent—were detained at Chicago's O'Hare airport, where they had just gotten off a flight from the country.

As Chicago's ABC 7 reported Thursday, police were looking into the possibility Smollett staged his own attack, but Guglielmi has since said the claim was unfounded. According to him, the detectives on the case have no reason to believe it was a hoax.

Smollett went on Good Morning America Thursday morning, speaking to Robin Roberts about how his side of the story has come into question.

"It feels like if I had said [my attacker] was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more. And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now," he said in the interview. "It's not necessarily that you don't believe that this is the truth. You don't even want to see the truth."

In the aftermath of the attack, sources close to Smollett allegedly told TMZ his attackers were white, wore ski-masks, and shouted racial and homophobic slurs as they beat him, poured bleach on him, and tied a rope around his neck. Other reports claimed that he told police his attackers yelled "this is MAGA country." But on GMA, Smollett denied some of those rumors, telling Roberts he never told the police the attackers were wearing MAGA hats.


"I didn't need to add anything like that," he said. "They called me a f****t, they called me a n****r. There's no which way you cut it. I don't need some MAGA hat as the cherry on some racist sundae."

As of yet, investigators still haven't said if Smollett knew the two men personally. Earlier, he reportedly told police he believed that the shadowy figures in a surveillance photo of the area were his attackers. And police told ABC they've had their eyes on the two men they arrested for a while now.

Gloria Schmidt, the Osundairo brothers' attorney, has said they're innocent, and insists they're just as broken up about Smollett's attack as others.

“When they first learned about what happened to him they were horrified," Schmidt told CBS. "This is someone they know. This is someone they’ve worked with, so they don’t want to see somebody go through that."

Smollett has yet to comment on the arrests.

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