John mentioned this during an update to the Smollett story last night, but the actor’s defensive posture continues to deteriorate. At this point, not only have the two “assailants” in the alleged hate crime been released but sources inside the Chicago PD are saying that they are no longer even suspects. The cops have video footage of pretty much Smollett’s entire trip to the Subway shop and back, with no indication of anyone else to blame. For their part, the two men are claiming they aren’t racists, criminals or even Trump critics. Smollett’s story is growing more and more hollow by the day.

This leaves the police investigating the incident with limited options. One of them, of course, would be to pull Smollett in for another interview and ask yet again for a look at his phone. But the “victim” in the attack has no plans to cooperate. (Associated Press)

Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett say there are no plans for him to meet with Chicago detectives Monday for a follow-up interview about his reported assault.

Anne Kavanagh is a spokeswoman for Smollett’s lawyers. She says in an emailed statement that his lawyers “will keep an active dialogue with Chicago police on his behalf.”

How does Jussie Smollett plan on squaring this decision with the public as he continues to plead his case? Let’s just say for the moment that he really was attacked by two people wearing masks and MAGA hats. The first two people arrested have been cleared. Wouldn’t he want to do everything possible to ensure that “the real hate crime attackers” were found and brought to justice? If he’s really the victim in all of this, what would he possibly have to fear from talking to the cops again? Perhaps he can recall more information to help them track the bad guys down.

And what’s his excuse for not turning over his phone? He says he has private pictures, emails, etc. on there, but everyone does. The cops probably don’t care about his social life or photos of his cat. What they likely want to know is if he was actually on the phone with his manager at the time of the alleged attack, as both of them have claimed. That might clear up some issues for him unless there never was any such phone call.

Meanwhile, Smollett’s attackers/friends are turning on him. That may not be terribly surprising since Smollett reportedly told the police he was willing to file charges against them until he learned they’d been picked up. (Washington Times)

The two men who were arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime against actor Jussie Smollett denied attacking the black, gay actor or having any prejudice against him.

In a statement released through their lawyers to Chicago media, brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo said they are cooperating with law enforcement.

“We are not racist. We are not homophobic, and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens,” the two said in a statement quoted by CNN.

To steal a line from The Lord of the Rings, Smollets list of allies is growing thin. The police seem to have a lot of details now in terms of what really happened. The three men allegedly ran rehearsals of the attack in advance and cruised the neighborhood looking for a place to stage it that would draw the most attention. But I’m also having trouble seeing how Smollett comes clean and admits it was all a hoax after calling anyone and everyone who questioned his account a pack of massive liars. Unless there’s some new, totally unexpected development here, Jussie Smollett appears to have already burned every bridge that might have gotten him out of this mess.