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CHICAGO, February 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As questions continue to swirl around an alleged homophobic attack that hospitalized Empire actor Jussie Smollett, local law enforcement is reportedly looking into whether Smollett staged the attack himself.

The 36-year-old, openly-homosexual actor says that around 2 a.m. January 29 he was assaulted in Chicago, with two masked men allegedly shouting racial and homophobic epithets, beating him to the point of fracturing a rib, putting a rope around his neck, and pouring bleach on him.

“This is MAGA country,” they allegedly yelled while leaving, a reference to the “Make America Great Again” slogan made controversial by President Donald Trump but historically used by politicians of both parties. Eight days earlier, Fox Studios in Chicago received a letter addressed to Smollett declaring, “You will die black f***.”

“The rise in hate crimes is directly linked to President Donald J. Trump’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric,” NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson declared after the attack. Smollett himself later told ABC he thinks he was targeted because “I come really, really hard against (Trump’s) administration.”

Critics immediately questioned the likelihood of violent Trump supporters roaming around the streets of strongly-Democratic Chicago, suspicions that intensified after police failed to find video of the attack among hundreds of hours of footage from cameras near where the actor says it happened, and Smollett only gave police “limited and redacted” phone records they say aren’t enough for a criminal investigation. Police need the unredacted records to verify his manager Brandon Moore’s claim to have heard a racial slur over a call.

On Thursday, Chicago’s ABC 7 reported that multiple sources say police are now investigating whether Smollett and his two “attackers” staged the event in order to prevent being written off of Empire.

In response, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment claimed it was “patently ridiculous” that they would cut Smollett from the show. At this point, police will only publicly say they are continuing to treat him as a victim, and “are investigating whether the two individuals committed the attack – or whether the attack happened at all.”

The truth may come out sooner rather than later, as the Associated Press reported that police have arrested two Nigerian brothers they consider suspects, at least one of whom was also an extra on Empire. Police also executed a search warrant on their home.

If the attack ultimately turns out to have been a hoax, it would be the latest in a long line of “hate crimes” against homosexuals or racial or religious minorities that the mainstream media seized upon but were later revealed to be phony. Last year, Fox News host Tucker Carlson compiled an eye-opening list:

Other examples include Utah’s Rick Jones, who carved a homophobic slur into his own arm; Marriage Equality Ohio co-president Adam Hoover, who faked his own abduction, complete with “I don’t want to die” Facebook messages; and University of Nebraska women’s basketball star Charlie Rogers, who carved up her own body and vandalized her home.


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