Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson just doubled down on the cops’ theory that Jussie Smollett staged the assault he reported in late January.
“I can tell you this, Robin, there’s a lot more evidence that hasn’t been presented yet that does not support the version he gave,” Johnson told “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts on Monday. “There’s still a lot of physical evidence, video evidence and testimony that just simply doesn’t support his version of what happened.”
Johnson said Smollett told police “at least the one” of his assailants was “a white-skinned person,” which clears up some confusion about where that part of the changing story came from. Smollett said he could see the skin color around the man’s eyes.
Johnson also said that Gloria Schmidt, the attorney for brothers Olabinjo (“Ola”) and Abimbola (“Abel”) Osundairo, was the one who convinced the men to flip on Smollett in the 47th hour of their custody. At the time, the two men, who they say were paid $3,500 to fake an assault on the actor, were persons of interest in the reported crime.
The Chicago PD investigation is ongoing, Johnson told Roberts. He reminded viewers of her ABC News morning program that Smollett still has the presumption of innocence until his day in court, “if he chooses to go that route.” Smollett is due back in court in March.
Watch Johnson’s Monday morning “GMA” appearance via the video above. Readers can remember Smollett’s own time with Roberts here.
Smollett turned himself into authorities on Thursday after being slapped with a felony charge of filing a false police report. After spending a few hours in custody, he posted $100,000 bond. In a subsequent press conference, Johnson said the “Empire” star orchestrated a hate crime against himself because he was unhappy about his salary on the show.
The actor, however, has maintained his innocence, with his team releasing a statement saying Smollett “feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.”
On Friday, “Empire” announced that it would remove Smollett’s character from the remaining two episodes of Season 5.