Jussie Smollett attack: Brothers reportedly involved in alleged hoax release statement expressing 'regret'

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Friday, March 1, 2019
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The pair of brothers reportedly involved in allegedly staging an attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett have broken their silence.

CHICAGO -- The lawyer for the pair of brothers reportedly involved in allegedly staging an attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett released a statement on her clients' behalf late Thursday.

The full statement reads, "My clients have tremendous regret over their involvement in this situation, and they understand how it has impacted people across the nation, particularly minority communities and especially those who have been victims of hate crimes themselves."

Police and prosecutors have accused Smollett of paying the two brothers $3,500 via personal check to yell homophobic and racial slurs and rough him up in the Streeterville neighborhood near his apartment Jan. 29.

RELATED: Timeline of key moments in alleged attack on 'Empire' actor

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett's motive was that he was "dissatisfied with his salary." He sat down Monday with Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America," where he said the story didn't add up.

"So right now, as I said, he has the presumption of innocence and he'll get his opportunity in court if he chooses to go that route. I was very acutely aware of the situation in terms of the Chicago Police Department declaring he was a suspect. But I can tell you this, Robin, there's a lot more evidence that hasn't been presented yet that does not support the version that he gave us," Johnson said. "There's still a lot of physical evidence, video evidence and testimony that just simply doesn't support his version of what happened."

Smollett has maintained his innocence and his attorneys released a statement last week saying, "The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election. Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing."

RELATED: Jussie Smollett's character to be removed from 'Empire', producers say

On Feb. 22, the executive producers of "Empire" wrote the Smollett's character, Jamal, out of the last two episodes of the season to "avoid further disruption" on set.

Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct on Feb. 20. He posted bond and has denied staging the attack.

CLICK HERE to read the full bond proffer

Smollett is due back in court March 14, when he will enter his plea. If Smollett is eventually convicted of the charge, he could face up to three years in prison. He could also face substantial fines.