"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett is in trouble. He claims to have been attacked by two male President Trump supporters in the middle of the night on the streets of Chicago in January while he was making a run to Subway. But, those men were later revealed as Abel and Ola Osundairo, brothers who already knew the actor. The two confessed to police that Smollett had paid them to ambush him and even instructed them to buy supplies for the attack, like a white rope to tie around his neck and a Make America Great Again hat. Now, new video surveillance, first obtained by Fox News, shows Smollett walking right by his alleged attackers the night of the supposed attack. It is one of several encounters shown on the tape.
NEW Smollett video very much appears to place the actor (white sweater) and the Osundairo brothers (hoodies) at the scene of the “attack.” And- appears to clearly show one brother in red-brimmed hat, which PD notes & surveillance indicates was purchased for the alleged hoax. pic.twitter.com/nmQ3QqNRb6— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) July 2, 2019
According to police notes, the surveillance video is likely between 1:45 and 2 a.m. on January 29 and appears to show Smollett in the same white, patterned sweater he was later captured wearing by Chicago Police body cameras when officers entered his apartment to respond to the 911 call about his alleged hate crime.
A portion of the newly released surveillance video shows Smollett walking away from his luxurious Chicago high-rise apartment building. He walks in a calm manner toward the direction of the Subway sandwich shop, where he told police he went and later returned to encounter his alleged attackers. The video also appears to show Smollett releasing a puff or two of smoke, which was also noted by investigators in handwritten police documents obtained by Fox News. (Fox News)
This video is perhaps not quite as damning as the last piece of video evidence provided by Chicago PD. In another video file, police are seen walking into Smollett's apartment to find the white rope still around the actor's neck. When they asked Smollett if he planned to take it off, the actor said yes, but he first wanted to demonstrate to them what it had looked like. These case files were initially sealed, until a judge ordered their public release.
Another of the unsealed documents unveiled a potentially incriminating text message Smollett sent to Abel Osundairo.
"Might need your help on the low," Smollett told him. "You around to meet up and talk face to face?”
On Tuesday, Smollett claimed he was referring to an herbal steroid.
In addition to Smollett's alleged hate crime hoax, authorities are also investigating why the Cook County State's Attorney's office suddenly decided to drop all 16 charges against the actor in March.