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Smollett Hate Crime-Like Attack Could Be Hoax, Story Still Developing

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Things keep getting worse and weirder in the alleged story of hate and violence perpetrated on Jussie Smollett, a gay, black, and Jewish actor known for his work on the show Empire. By Friday night, the Chicago police said that they arrested two Nigerian brothers who were involved with the alleged attack.

The New York Post spoke to the police, who told the newspaper that no charges were filed at that time. TMZ found out who the men were through its own sources, Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo. TMZ’s sources also contradict the police by saying the men face battery charges.

Cops noticed that the alleged attackers did some work on Empire, the show Smollett is well-known for. As of Sunday morning, the cops now say that Smollett paid these two men to orchestrate a pre-planned attack in order to garner attention, and they rehearsed the attack too, according to CBS Chicago.

JTA reports that Smollett has a Jewish father and African-American mother. After the alleged attack, a number of notable Jewish people and organizations showed their support.

In a tweet, The American Jewish Committee said it is “horrified by the assault on @jussiesmollet, whose attackers shouted racist and homophobic slurs before putting a noose around his neck.”

It went on to say “We pray for his recovery and call on police to bring the perpetrators of this hate crime swiftly to justice.”

“This reported attack on Jussie is a disturbing reminder of the terrible homophobia and racism that plagues our society,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We call on police to investigate this vile incident as a hate crime and work swiftly to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice.”

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