CHICAGO (CBS) – The two brothers at the center of the Jussie Smollett case were captured on a ride share camera before the alleged attack on the ‘Empire’ actor, according to sources close to the investigation.
This news comes on the same day that the brothers were seen leaving the grand jury room at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. They were hiding under hoods, surrounded by what appeared to be law enforcement. The two men met with prosecutors but did not appear before the grand jury, sources tell CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar.
Ola and Abel Osundairo — who sources say worked with Smollett to stage the attack on Jan. 29 in Streeterville – took a ride share to near the location of the attack on North Water Street.
The brothers arrived before Smollett and were seen sitting on a bench, passing time. According to the sources, the brothers appeared nervous on the ride share video. A passing car gave the brothers pause about going through with the plan, sources said.
A short time later, Smollett appeared.
Sources also say the brothers considered backing out of the plan.
Chicago Police have also determined that tip that the three were in an elevator at Smollett’s residence on the night of the attack was unfounded.
Smollett claims two men attacked him in Streeterville early Jan. 29 as he was heading to his apartment. He said they yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured a chemical on him and put a rope around his neck.
Sources say at least one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett’s request. The sources also say the “Empire” actor paid for the rope, which was purchased at the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in the Ravenswood neighborhood the weekend of Jan. 25.
Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and yelled slurs at Smollett.
The sources say the red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29. The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening. Smollett paid the brothers $3,500.
Tuesday the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office confirmed that in August of 2007 Smollett pleaded no contest to DUI, driving without a license and providing false information to law enforcement. He was sentenced to two years probation and a choice of a fine or jail. Officials at the office could not confirm which Smollett chose. A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said the department was already aware of the plea.