Two Nigerian brothers have been arrested in connection to Empire actor, Jussie Smollett’s attack.
According to Dailymail.com, the two Nigerian brothers arrested over the Jussie Smollett attack are actors identified as Abimbola ‘Abel’ and Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo.
The pair were picked up by police at Chicago O’Hare Airport on Wednesday as they arrived back in America after visiting family in Nigeria to be questioned over the January 29 attack involving the star.
It came as Smollett faced allegations that he had staged the attack because he was being written out of Empire, the popular Fox show on which he appears.
The two brothers were arrested on suspicion of battery but, as of Friday afternoon, they had not been charged.
Police can now hold them for an additional 24 hours without charge if the prosecutor’s office agrees, or must file charges by 5.45pm on Friday.
Ola appeared on Empire in 2015 and both brothers have had minor roles on Chicago PD.
Smollett follows their joint Instagram account and, according to their lawyer, sometimes goes to the gym with them. DailyMail.com has identified photographs of one of the brothers inside the gym in Smollett’s apartment building in June last year. The gym is private to residents of the luxury condominium building.
They have denied any involvement in the attack and say they were horrified to hear o of it with the rest of the world when it grabbed headlines last month.
Police sources said on Thursday night that they were pursuing the theory that Smollett orchestrated the hoax because he was being written out of the show and wanted to drum up publicity to save his role – a claim that has been strenuously denied by the show and uncorroborated by the police department.
In his reports to police, Smollett says he was attacked by two assailants whose facial features he could not make out but that it was a racist, homophobic ambush during which they called him ‘Empire f****t n****r’ and shouted: ‘This is MAGA country!’
The brothers’ names are also included on a list of evidence that was left at their home after Chicago PD officers ransacked it on Thursday and the pair are listed in public records as the tenants of that house.
‘The two individuals interviewed are classified (sic) as potential suspects.
‘Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues,’ Anthony Guglielmi, the chief communications officer for the Chicago Police Department, said in a statement.