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Cops: Jussie Smollett Paid Accomplices by Check

The latest on 'Empire' actor's arrest
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2019 3:52 PM CST
This Feb. 21, 2019 photo released by the Chicago Police Department shows Jussie Smollett.   (Chicago Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – Details continue to trickle out regarding Jussie Smollett's allegedly faked attack, and the latest is a weird one: Police say the Empire actor used a check to pay the two brothers he allegedly hired to pretend to be his attackers, CBS Chicago reports. Police said Ola and Abel Osundairo were paid $3,500, and that Smollett also gave them $100 for supplies and directed them where to buy a noose, hats, and masks. He allegedly instructed them to shout "This is MAGA country," hurl racial and homophobic slurs, and hurt him—but not too much. (Police also said the wounds on Smollett's face were likely self-inflicted; more on that in our earlier story.) More of the latest:

  • Text message: Police say Smollett texted Abel Osundairo to make plans: "Might need your help on the low. You around to meet up and talk face to face," he allegedly wrote on Jan. 25, four days before the alleged attack. Police say when they met up, Smollett explained he hadn't gotten a big enough reaction to a racist letter sent to the Empire set and he wanted to go further.
  • Empire: Smollett's future on the show is not clear. "We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options," Fox officials said in a statement. Sources tell Variety producers are considering whether to suspend Smollett from the show.

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