CHICAGO (CBS Chicago/AP) — Two brothers being questioned in the Jussie Smollett case are now under arrest, police said.
Obabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo were arrested Friday in connection with an alleged attack on the “Empire” actor. The men were identified by their attorney, Gloria Schmidt.
At least one of the men worked on “Empire,” police said.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said authorities had probable cause to believe the men committed assault and battery against Smollett. But they had not been charged as of Friday afternoon.
Guglielmi would not comment on a possible motive.
Meantime, two sources with intimate knowledge of the investigation told CBS Chicago Investigator Brad Edwards the attack on Smollett was potentially orchestrated by the actor himself, and involved two other men.
But police say while there is no evidence documenting the alleged attack, there is also no evidence to say it is a hoax. They say Smullett is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect.
The two men were seen on surveillance video near where Smollett told police he was attacked on Jan. 29. The suspects being questioned by detectives in the case are brothers who worked on Empire with Smollett.
Police raided their home on Wednesday, the same day police met them at O’Hare International Airport, as they were returning from a trip to Nigeria.
Gloria Schmidt, the attorney representing those two men in the case, said they have been in custody at Area Central detective headquarters since Wednesday night.
“When they first learned about what happened to him they were horrified. This is someone they know. This is someone they’ve worked with, so they don’t want to see somebody go through that,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said police detained her clients Wednesday evening at Customs at O’Hare. The two men were returning from a trip to Nigeria when officers raided their family’s home on the North Side.
Pictures from the raid show the front door busted off its frame, items thrown across the living room, bedroom doors damaged and clothes tossed everywhere.
Police left behind an inventory list. Some of the items seized include a black face mask hat, an Empire script, phone, receipts, a red hat and bleach.
Smollett has told police two men attacked him in Streeterville around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, as he was heading home to his apartment. He said they yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured some type of chemical on him and even put a rope around his neck.
The actor and singer gave his first public account of the attack in an interview on Good Morning America.
“When the police came, I kept the clothes on. I kept the rope,” Smollett said. “I mean, it wasn’t like wrapped around, but yeah it was around because I wanted them to see. I wanted them to see what this was.”
Smollett, 36, is black and openly gay.
Investigators have said the alleged attack was not recorded on surveillance video, but police released a grainy image of the two men who were in the area at the time of the alleged crime.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)