Since then, after some accused the “Empire” actor of lying, two Nigerian brothers were arrested and released after they claimed Smollett staged the attack and paid them $3,500 each.
From the very beginning, Smollett has denied that he’s been untruthful, and at first the police backed his claims, but that’s changed since the brothers started cooperating with their investigation. It also has been learned that the two men were extras on “Empire.”
As reported, the police now want to conduct another interview with Smollett since the trajectory of the investigation has dramatically shifted. The Chicago Sun-Times reported the actor was scheduled to speak with investigators on Monday, Feb. 18, but that was shot down by a Chicago police spokesperson.
In the past few weeks, both celebrities and non-celebrities alike have weighed in on Smollett’s claim, including Cardi B, who seems frustrated with the actor.
“I’m really disappointed in him,” she said on Monday, Feb. 18, on Instagram Live. “I feel like he f—ed up Black History Month, bro. Like, damn, I’m not gonna say yet until he say it out his mouth that it was fake and the sh– was staged. I don’t want to completely blame him, because somebody I was talking to, they said police in Chicago are racists. So they might probably try to frame him and make him look like he’s a liar. But if he’s not, than bro you f—-ed up, for real. Like, why would you do that?”
The director Ava DuVernay sent a tweet about Smollett as well and agreed with Cardi about Chicago police not having the best track record when it comes to having transparent investigations.
“Despite the inconsistencies, I can’t blindly believe Chicago PD,” she wrote on Sunday. “The department that covered up shooting Laquan McDonald over a dozen times? That operated an off-site torture facility? That one? I’ll wait. Whatever the outcome, this won’t stop me from believing others. It can’t.”
In one of the latest updates, CBS Chicago reports that Smollett received a racist letter at “Empire’s” studio a while back and staged the attack after it didn’t get a “bigger reaction.”