Smollett claimed that he had been attacked by two men on Jan. 29 — he said they beat him, tied a rope around his neck, and doused him with bleach. He also claimed that they shouted racist and homophobic slurs during the assault. However, police now believe that Smollett paid two acquaintances, brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, to help him orchestrate the attack. The men have reportedly been cooperating with investigators.
In a Feb. 14 interview on “Good Morning America,” Smollett hit back at skeptics. “If I had said it was a Muslim or a Mexican or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot more,” Smollett said during the TV interview.