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Two brothers arrested in connection with attack on Jussie Smollett

Two people have been arrested in connection with the attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, Chicago police confirmed Friday.

The men, who police have identified as Nigerian brothers, were in custody after being picked up at O’Hare airport Wednesday.

The men have not yet been charged.

Police confirmed earlier Friday that the two people being questioned in the investigation were being classified as potential suspects.

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They were initially described as persons of interest when police announced they were talking to them on Thursday.

“For clarification, the two individuals interviewed are classfied (sic) as potential suspects. Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues,” reads the statement put out Friday by Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

He also said the “interrogations” with the two people and their attorney will resume Friday.

Police said last month that Smollett — an actor on the Fox series “Empire” — was allegedly attacked in Chicago by two people who put a rope around his neck, poured an unidentified substance on him and hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him.

Officials said they were investigating the case as a possible hate crime.

The new developments comes a day after a media report sparked speculation that Smollett was potentially involved in staging the attack because his character on “Empire” was being written off.

Authorities refuted that report and said they have no reason to believe Smollett’s story is a hoax.

Police have not seen footage of the confrontation itself but have obtained security video showing Smollett with a rope draped around his neck.

A rep for 20th Century Fox, the studio behind “Empire,” denied that Smollett might be written off the show, calling him a “core player on this very successful series.”

Smollett said in an interview that aired Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that one of the attackers told him it was “MAGA country” before punching him in the face. (“MAGA” refers to President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make American Great Again.”)

“So I punched his ass back,” Smollett told Robin Roberts in the interview. “And then we started tussling. It was very icy, and we ended up tussling by the stairs, fighting, fighting, fighting. There was a second person involved who was kicking me in my back, and then it just stopped and they ran off.”

source: NYD

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