Texts, rideshares helped police uncover evidence in Smollett case

Feb 23, 2019, 01:34
Texts, rideshares helped police uncover evidence in Smollett case

In his account, Smollett said his attackers also shouted "This is MAGA country", referring to Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan.

The revelations necessary to charge Smollett came during the 47th hour of a 48-hour holding period for the two men, who eventually confessed to the alleged plot, Johnson said.

They didn't open up to police right away.

The "Empire" actor turned himself in on a felony count of filing a false police report.

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Prosecutors said Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo, one of the brothers who helped Smollett allegedly stage the January 29 hate attack, served as Smollett's drug dealer, selling him Molly several times since the spring of 2018. Police say scratches on Smollett's face were likely self-inflicted. Authorities believe Smollett, who is black and openly gay, staged the attack because he wanted a raise.

CHICAGO -The producers of the TV show "Empire" said Friday that Jussie Smollett's character will be removed from the final two episodes of this season "to avoid further disruption on set" after Smollett was accused of faking a racist, anti-gay attack on himself in Chicago. That cooperation is nearly certainly the main reason they haven't been charged.

Smollett's attorneys say they plan to mount an "aggressive defense" against his disorderly conduct charge.

The superintendent said, however, that Smollett was given no more attention than any other alleged crime victim, but he lamented that resources devoted to this investigation could have been deployed elsewhere.

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The statement denied rumors circulating on social media that placed doubt on the allegations: Smollett "told the police everything from the very beginning", his family stated, and his story had "never changed".

A source close to the Empire production team told ET earlier Thursday that a meeting with Fox was expected to happen on Thursday to discuss Smollet's future with the show.

A number of high profile celebrities and politicians defended Smollett after initial reports of the attack emerged, including Democratic 2020 candidate Kamala Harris who called it an attempted "modern day lynching".

"Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system", the statement begins. "We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options".

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Smollett is due back in court March 14 when he is expected to enter his plea.