Empire star Jussie Smollett will reportedly face a grand jury next week to determine the credibility of his hate crime allegations, following reports that Chicago Police are investigating the actor for orchestrating the attack on himself.
Last month, Smollett claimed that he was assaulted by two men in a racist and homophobic attack, sparking an outpouring of support for him and condemnation of the alleged attack. Yet on Saturday, Chicago police revealed that the focus of the investigation had “shifted.” CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz reported that authorities now believe that Smollett actually paid two men to fake the attack, both of whom were now cooperating with law enforcement.
According to law enforcement officials who spoke with TMZ, a grand jury will hear the case next week to examine its credibility. The police sources also provided details on why Smollett’s claims seemingly lacked credibility.
“The sources say there were red flags from the get-go,” TMZ reported. “Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video. Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.”
Smollett’s lawyers have denied his involvement in planning the attack, claiming their clients is “devastated” by any suggestion that he would do so.
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” they said in a statement. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”