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Tipsheet

Smollett's Attorney Now Suggests the Nigerian Brothers May Have Been Wearing Whiteface

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has maintained his innocence throughout the alleged Chicago hate crime hoax. He claims, still, that he was attacked in January in the middle of the night by two men who not only yelled homophobic and racist things at him, but tied a rope around his neck. The men, he said in a police report, were wearing Make America Great Again hats and ski masks. In the weeks following his suspicious account, police obtained evidence that suggested the ambush was premeditated and that Smollett had paid his attackers to do it to gain publicity and advance his career. The attackers, a pair of Nigerian brothers, the Osundairo brothers, even reportedly knew Smollett - one worked as an extra on "Empire." They finally fessed up to the authorities and admitted the actor had paid them to attack him. The whole affair left both the Chicago PD and Mayor Rahm Emanuel outraged.

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That's why they were fuming when prosecutors suddenly dropped all 16 felony charges against Smollett this week, citing, in part, his community service. In a press conference following the Cook County State's Attorney's office's decision, Smollett said he did not lie. His attorneys maintain the same narrative, reminding skeptics that the attackers were disguised when they pulled off the attack. In an interview with "TODAY," one of Smollett's attorneys, Tina Glandian, made a pretty bold suggestion: Perhaps the Osundairo brothers were also wearing whiteface.

If you Google the brothers, she noted, you'll find that they had once donned whiteface makeup for a skit in which they played The Joker.

“Well, you know, I mean, I think there’s — obviously, you can disguise that," Glandian said. "You can put makeup on. There is, interestingly enough, a video. You know, I think police had minimal investigation in this case, it took me only five minutes to Google. You know, I was looking up the brothers, and one of the videos that showed up actually was of the brothers in whiteface doing a joker monologue with white makeup on him. So, it’s not — it’s not implausible.”

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President Trump announced on Thursday that the DOJ and the FBI will be investigating this case.

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