Was the Jussie Attack A Hoax? Could He Now Face Charges?

New reports out of Chicago claim “Empire” costar Jussie Smollett paid two Nigerian brothers to be part of a staged attack. After being question and released without charges, Abel and Ola Usondairo confirmed to police that they purchased rope from a hardware store and the actor paid them to stage the hate crime attack.

In a statement from his attorneys issued Saturday, Smollett denied playing a role in the attack.

"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," the statement read. "He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."

Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi previously stated Smollett would be charged if investigators determined he staged the attack.

Since his emotional interview on “Good Morning America” with Robin Roberts (below) to address those who doubted his story, Smollett has hired a criminal defense team. He has reportedly retained Chicago-based attorneys Victor P. Henderson and Todd Pugh, who specialize in criminal cases.

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