Chicago Police Now View Jussie Smollett as ‘Active Participant’ in Alleged Assault

The Chicago Police Department is no longer looking at Empire star Jussie Smollett as a victim in his alleged assault — but rather an “active participant.”

Smollett has also retained two criminal defense attorneys as his claims about being attacked by “Trump supporters” continues to crumble.

“The new direction of the investigation is now based on the premise that Mr. Smollett was an active participant in the incident,” a law enforcement source close to the situation told Deadline.

Two brothers who knew Smollett and were originally brought in for the assault have told police that they were paid by the actor to stage the attack. The police department said in a statement that “due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete.”

The brothers agreed to work with police after being threatened with charges.

“The two men in question are Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who were released by authorities at 9 PM Chicago time after being arrest and held without charge by the police for 48 hours. Chicago detectives are now following the lead that the brothers purchased the rope that was placed around Smollett’s neck in the early hours of January 20 when he was supposedly attacked by two men screaming racist and homophobic slurs,” Deadline reports.

Following the brothers being released, police told ABC News that they have new information that “could change the story entirely.”

The brothers were reportedly paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 when they returned.

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