Jussie Smollett has hired Michael Cohen’s criminal defense lawyer, the attorney confirmed this week, amid the deepening mystery of the “Empire” actor’s claim that he was the victim of a hate attack.
“Yes, at the moment, I am,” Michael Monico, a former federal prosecutor in Illinois’ Northern District, told WGN’s “The Roe Conn Show” on Thursday.
Monico did not say how long he’s been representing Smollett, or in what capacity.
Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, hired Monico to his defense team last month to represent him as he faces federal charges that he violated campaign finance laws and lied to Congress.
The openly gay actor claims he was ambushed on Jan. 29 as he was walking home through Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. He says his masked assailants tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him and yelled homophobic slurs and “MAGA country!”
Police arrested two “Empire” extras, brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, in connection with the alleged assault Friday, but released them later in the day. Cops also raided their Chicago-area apartment and confiscated bleach and a black face mask.
Police confirmed Saturday the brothers were present at the scene of the attack and provided new evidence that “is now central to the investigation,” without providing details.
SOURCE: Page Six – Sara Dorn