Smollett orchestrated the attack a week later with the two men, Ola and Abel Osundairo, sources said. Also Tuesday, sources said the two brothers had been seen on a shared video camera before being dropped near the scene of the attack.
Smollett received a letter containing a white powder on January 22nd. The letter was sent to Chicago's Cinespace Studios, where the "Empire" show is filmed. The letter prompted a HAZMAT response. DPC says that "white matter" was later determined to be aspirin.
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The note was composed of letters apparently cut from magazines to form words. The reconstituted message contained racial and homophobic threats against Smollett. A magazine is one of the pieces of evidence collected at the brother's home last week during a search by CPD. The investigators also recovered a book of stamps.
Smollett claims that two men attacked him in Streeterville early January 29 while he was heading to his apartment. He said that they had shouted racial and homophobic slurs, poured a chemical product on him and put a rope around his neck.
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According to sources, at least one of the brothers would have bought the rope used during the incident at Smollett's request. The sources also said that the actor "Empire" had paid for the rope, which had been purchased at the Crafty Beaver hardware store in the Ravenswood neighborhood on the weekend of Jan. 25.
According to sources, one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and shouted insults to Smollett.
The sources said that the red hat had been purchased from a Uptown beauty shop and that the attack was supposed to take place before January 29. The brothers told detectives that the three men had repeated the attack several days before the event. Smollett paid the brothers $ 3,500.
CBS 2 Brad Edwards reports, state prosecutor Kim Foxx recused himself of the case. The acting prosecutor in charge of the investigation will now be the deputy state prosecutor, Joseph Magats.
The Chicago police say the FBI is handling the investigation surrounding the letter, because it's a federal concern.