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.
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.
Police are investigating a tip that a witness claims to have seen the three men in Smollett’s apartment elevator the night of reported incident. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed Tuesday that the trio was also seen in an elevator of Smollett’s apartment.
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.