2 Men Arrested In Connection To Jussie Smollett Attack, New Details Emerge
By Peyton Blakemore
February 15, 2019
According to TMZ, brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who are now "potential suspects" instead of "persons of interest," have been booked on battery (not yet charged) after cops raided their home on Thursday (February 14) and found what's being called "potential evidence." The two reportedly have ties to Jussie show's show Empire, as TMZ noted the brothers are former extras of the show. Not only that, one of the men appears to be a Jussie fan as The Blast shared a video of him posing and flexing in what appears to be his home as Jussie's hit song "Ha Ha (I Love You)" played in the background.
While police have yet to confirm if the brothers are the two men captured on surveillance video around the time of Jussie's assault, a Chicago law enforcement source told TMZ, "the next step may be a lineup in which Jussie will be asked to identify the culprits." (To note, Jussie previously described his attackers as white).
As previously reported, the 36-year-old Empire star was assaulted in Chicago around 2 AM on January 29 by two men wearing ski masks. Jussie had just arrived in the city from New York and made a late-night run to a Subway when someone reportedly yelled: "Aren't you that f**got 'Empire' n**ga?" The two attackers then proceeded to jump the actor. While Jussie said he fought back, he was ultimately overtaken by the men. During the attack, the suspects also reportedly put a rope around Jussie's neck and poured bleach on him. Jussie ribs were fractured and he was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment. He was released soon after.
News of the brothers' arrest comes just days after Jussie gave his first interview since the attack. He opened up to Robin Roberts in an hour-long Good Morning America interview earlier this week, detailing his January assault. He first clarified a few mistruths, telling Robin he never described the two attackers as wearing MAGA hats, despite early reports. He explained that his attackers said, "This is MAGA country" when they ran off. "They called me a fa**ot. They called me a ni**er. There’s no which way you cut it, I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on a racist sundae," he recalled.
While setting the record straight, Jussie admitted that he's "pissed off" at the men who attacked him — and by the attacks of those who have doubted his story. "It's like, you know, at first, it was a thing of, like, 'Listen, if I tell the truth, then that’s it,' because it’s the truth," he said. "Then it became a thing of like, 'Oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you — how do you not believe that? It’s the truth.' And then it became a thing of like, 'Oh, it’s not necessarily that you don't believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.'" Jussie added, "If I had said it was a Muslim or a Mexican or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot more."
Photo: Getty Images