In the latest news regarding the Jussie Smollett attack, a “Hail Mary” phone call by the actor’s lawyers has postponed grand jury testimony by two suspects, possibly sparing Smollett an indictment, CBS News reports.
Police questioned Nigerian-born brothers Ola and Abel Osundario earlier this week in connection with the January 29 attack. Empire star Smollett claims he was beaten and doused in chemicals by masked men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs. Smollett also alleges his attackers tied a rope around his neck. Video footage of the attack has confirmed the presence of the Osundario brothers at the scene, though the siblings reportedly told police that Smollett paid them to fake the attack.
Police searched the home of the Osundario brothers and discovered bleach, rope and masks believed to have been used in the attack. The two brothers, however, contend that Smollett paid them to organize the assault as a publicity stunt. They also claim to have sent threatening letters to Smollett via the Empire production offices. Ola Osundario also once appeared in an episode of Empire in a bit part.
Police have also subpoenaed Smollett’s phone and financial records as part of the investigation. The 36-year-old actor has denied that the attack was faked, though he refused to consent to a second police interview. The Fox network and producers of Empire have repeatedly said they believe the actor’s account of the attack, though Fox refused to comment on rumors that Smollett’s role had been all but deleted from the remaining episodes of the Empire season.