House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deleted her original tweet sympathetic for singer Jussie Smollett amid reports that he may have staged the alleged January 29 attack.
Smollett claimed to law enforcement he went to a local Chicago Subway eatery at 2 a.m., and he was physically assaulted by two men in ski masks who poured a bleach-like substance on him and tied a rope around his neck like a noose.
Smollett, who is gay and black, also told police his attackers yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him as well as told him, “This is MAGA country.”
Politicians and celebrities alike rushed to defend Smollett, including Pelosi, who tweeted on January 29, “The racist, homophobic attack on [Smollett] is an affront to our humanity. No one should be attacked for who they are or whom they love.”
However, the Chicago Police Department believe Empire actor Jussie Smollett staged an attack on himself last month, according to a report.
“Chicago Police believe Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate the assault. The sources tell CNN that the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement,” tweeted CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, Cory Booker who called the alleged hate crime attack against Jussie Smollett a “modern-day lynching” now says that he is withholding judgement in the case.
“Well, the information is still coming out, and I’m going to withhold until all the information comes out,” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a 2020 presidential candidate, told reporters Sunday.
According to ABC News, two Nigerian brothers, initially arrested by Chicago Police in connection to the assault against Smollett were later released after telling law enforcement that Smollett paid them to stage the attack.
Smollett’s attorneys released a statement denying he staged his own attack, saying in part, “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”