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New details are emerging about the relationship Jussie Smollett had with two brothers police believe the actor hired to stage a hate crime attack on him.
ABC News has obtained a copy of the $3,500 check Smollett wrote to one of the brothers, Abimbola Osundario, along with text messages Smollett exchanged with the brothers in the days leading up to the Jan. 29 incident.
The memo line of the check, which was dated Jan. 23, reads “5 week Nutrition/Workout program (Don’t Go).”
Smollett had been slated to record a music video for the song “Don’t Go,” on Feb. 23 and had been planning to appear shirtless in the video, the news organization reports.
Text messages between Smollett and one of the brothers known as Bon, which were first published by TMZ, discuss Smollett’s diet and workout plans.
In one message, written on Jan. 25, the brother writes “This is the meal plan and the breakdown of macronutrients. Also includes projected fat loss.”
Smollett responds that he is unable to open the document sent on his phone and that he will check it out on his computer later before asking “When do you leave town?”
Bon replies that he’s leaving town on Tuesday, the same day Smollett claims he was attacked at 2 a.m. while leaving a Subway sandwich shop.
The new details come just as the Chicago Police Department continues to assert its claim that the “Empire” actor paid the brothers to carry out the attack and then filed a false report with police.
"There’s still a lot of physical evidence, video evidence and testimony that just simply does not support his version of what happened,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told Robin Roberts on Good Morning America Monday.
Johnson said Smollett still maintained the presumption of innocence in the crime and that investigators had initially treated him as a victim after the star reported that he had been beaten, doused with bleach and had a noose tied around his neck in the early morning attack.
But after police detained the Osundairo brothers and held the pair for 48 hours, the investigation took a sudden pivot and began to center on Smollett himself.
"It's important for people to recognize that it's not the Chicago Police Department saying he did something. It's the evidence, the facts and the witnesses that are saying this," Johnson said.
Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct on Wednesday and later turned himself into police.
Smollett continues to voice his innocence and went to the “Empire” set Thursday night to apologize to the show’s cast and crew for putting them through the ordeal.
“I swear to God, I did not do this,” he said, according to TMZ.
Producers decided to remove Smollett from the set for the show’s final two episodes after deciding it was too disruptive to production, the outlet reports.
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