Key Moments Since Jussie Smollett Reported Chicago Attack


The probe could be handed to a grand jury this week, according to the celebrity news website TMZ, which reported on Tuesday that the actor's role on Empire has been curtailed.

He tweeted the news on Wednesday after Smollett's attorneys met with prosecutors and detectives. He also alledged that they tied a rope around his neck and poured an unknown substance on him.

WBBM sources also said one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett's request - which the actor paid for - from the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in the Ravenswood neighborhood over the weekend of January 25.

He also signed a false name on the promise to appear in court. The actor said in a statement he's "victimised by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators".

More than a decade ago, Smollett pleaded no contest to providing false information to law enforcement in a 2007 misdemeanor case, according to Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. Last week, Guglielmi said media reports about the attack being a hoax were unconfirmed by case detectives.

The actor later pleaded no contest to three misdemeanors in total from the incident, with the other charges being driving under the influence and operating a vehicle without a license.

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The USPIS confirmed to TheWrap that the agency was assisting the FBI in investigating the letter, but declined to comment any further on the nature of the investigation - including whether it involves any role Smollett might have played - except to say that the agency is on call to assist the FBI.

The statement said one of the brothers was Smollett's personal trainer, the first time he has acknowledged knowing either of them.

On Jan. 30, Chicago police said they had reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance camera footage, including of Smollett walking downtown, but none shows the attack. But by Friday night they had been released, Guglielmi said. While initially the two were considered possible suspects, their cooperation has led the investigation in the direction of Smollett himself. On Saturday (February 16), two police officers told CNN that the brothers are cooperating with law enforcement after reportedly providing evidence Jussie set the whole thing up. It was also reported the two men used the phrase "MAGA country" during the attack, a reference to President Donald Trump and his "Make America Great Again" slogan. Police questioned the brothers and searched the apartment where the men live.

Even if Jussie speaks to police, unless he pulls a rabbit out of a hat and convinces them the "attack" was real, the case is still going to the grand jury.

February 16-CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reports at least one of the brothers purchased the rope at the Crafty Beaver hardware store.