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TMZ: Jussie Smollett Case Going to Grand Jury

Police say they're still waiting for 'follow-up interview'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2019 4:32 AM CST
Updated Feb 18, 2019 6:36 AM CST
In this May 20, 2016 photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles.   (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – The increasingly strange and tangled Jussie Smollett case will be heard by a grand jury this week, according to TMZ, which cites law enforcement sources. The sources say police are keeping an eye on two brothers arrested and released in the case, because they want to make sure the Empire star doesn't contact them. Sources tell the Chicago Tribune that police suspect Smollett paid the Nigerian brothers to stage an alleged attack on him last month. Police said Saturday that information from the brothers had "shifted the trajectory of the investigation" and they had requested a "follow-up interview" with Smollett. The actor says he was attacked Jan. 27 by two men shouting racist and homophobic insults who put a rope around his neck.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Sunday that the interview had not been conducted yet, the AP reports. "We're not confirming, denying, or commenting on anything until we can talk to him and we can corroborate some information that we've gotten." According to TMZ's sources, when police searched the men's apartment, they found two magazines with letters cut out, and they are investigating whether there is a connection to a threatening letter with cut-out letters that Smollett says he received before the attack. One source also says police found it hard to believe one attacker shouted "This is MAGA country," because "not a single Trump supporter watches Empire." (Read more Jussie Smollett stories.)

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