Jussie Smollett – an Update


Jordan Myers, Entertainment Editor

Jussie Smollett’s race card is about to be declined. On January 29th, Empire actor Jussie Smollett reported that he was the victim of a hate crime, but as time has gone on, more and more evidence has piled up against him.

Olabinjo’s tweets about Frank Ocean after he came out as gay.

Street cameras show Smollett walking home with a noose hanging off of his neck at 2 am, minutes after the alleged attack and another camera shows two men who Smollett identified, immigrant Nigerian brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo aka ‘Abel’ and ‘Ola’. Ola played a prison inmate on season 2 of Empire. It’s unclear exactly how well they know Smollett, but Jussie follows their joint Instagram account. Abel also says he’s worked on Empire.

The check written to allegedly pay brothers to help stage the attack.

Police identified the brothers and questioned them. The two claim that Smollett paid them $3,500 with a check to beat him, pour bleach on him, tie a noose around his neck, and walk away where cameras could see them. The check was written to them for a workout and nutrition plan. So if you consider staging an attack a workout, I guess it makes sense. Since the alleged attack was a hate crime, Twitter users took it upon themselves to do a deep dive into Ola’s past tweets because there’s always another side to someone on Twitter. These tweets from 2013 show his hatred for Frank Ocean and his sexuality, which proves that there is a motive to commit a hate crime against a gay man of color.

The threatening and hateful letter worded out of magazine letters containing crushed Tylenol sent to Smollett’s Chicago home was thought to be sent by the former persons of interest, Abel and Ola. But then the focus shifted on to Smollett himself. The origin of the letter is still under investigation as they find more linking evidence.

Celebrities supporting and apologizing for Smollett’s alleged attack have since gone silent and more and more public figures are going against him as the investigation continues. The only celebrity to not go silent about the incident is Terrence Howard, Smollett’s co-star who plays his character’s father on Empire.

The Chicago Police Superintendent, Eddie T Johnson, appeared on Good Morning America to address the incident and ongoing investigation. “I can tell you this, there’s a lot more evidence that has not been presented to the public yet that does not support his version of the incident.” He then added “It’s not the Chicago PD saying he did something. It’s the evidence, the facts and the witnesses saying this.”

So, why would a successful singer and actor orchestrate such a crime? It is alleged that he organized this incident because he was unhappy with his salary and he would be receiving way more money if he appeared on a talk show to give his first interview since talk shows pay very high dollar to have that sort of content. Smollett’s net worth sits at about $500k and he makes more than 20k an episode for his role as Jamal Lyon in Empire, which is probably much more now since the show is well into the fifth season and is expected to consist of eighteen episodes just like the other seasons.

Abel and Ola are no longer persons of interests or suspects of the ongoing investigation. Smollett is the #1 suspect at the moment. If found guilty, the young actor could serve one to three years in prison and have to pay for the investigation. But on the bright side, everyone knows who Jussie Smollett is now.