CHICAGO (CBS) – CBS 2 has obtained video of two men linked to the attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett buying a red hat and ski masks from a store the day before the assault.
The video shows Ola and Abel Osundairo placing the masks and a hat on the counter. Smollett has claimed two men wearing a similar hat and masks attacked him on Jan. 29 in Streeterville, according to police. CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar made multiple phone calls and visited several stores to obtain the video.
The Osundairos were arrested last week, but later released without charges.
Sources have said the two brothers told police they helped stage the attack with Smollett. They said they were paid $3,500 to pour a chemical on the actor, and place a rope around his neck, while yelling racist and homophobic slurs.
Two sources said they used a ride share vehicle to get to the Streeterville neighborhood, and were caught on camera appearing nervous.
Sources say at least one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett’s request. The sources also say Smollett 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 Smollett directed the brothers to obtain the items 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 repeatedly has denied staging the incident.
Meantime, Fox Television has denied rumors that Smollett is being written off of “Empire.”
“Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” a statement from the company said.