During a press conference on the morning of Feb. 21, the Chicago Police Department revealed why the actor allegedly planned a fake attack.
According to Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson, Smollett was “dissatisfied with his salary” on “Empire.”
Johnson said Smollett initially attempted to get attention by sending a fake letter that used racist and homophobic language. When that didn’t garner enough attention, Smollett planned the attack, according to Johnson.
“Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud in the process,” Johnson said. “The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary. So he concocted a story about being attacked.”
Smollett initially told police that he was attacked in Chicago on Jan. 29, 2019, by two masked men who reportedly yelled, “This is MAGA country,” and used racial and homophobic slurs. During the attack, Smollett said the men poured a chemical substance on him and tied a rope around his neck.
However, police questioned two brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, on Feb. 15. Police learned that the brothers purchased the rope from an Ace Hardware store in the Chicago area. CBS reports that the brothers were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return.
Smollett has yet to comment following his arrest.