Chicago police: Jussie Smollett assault case has ‘shifted’
Chicago police said on Saturday that the investigation into the assault reported by Jussie Smollett has “shifted” due to information received from two brothers questioned in the case. However, attorneys for the Empire actor blasted reports alleging he played a role in his own attack.
Chicago police had arrested, then released the two Nigerian brothers without charges late Friday and said they were no longer suspects in the attack.
“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in an emailed statement on Saturday. “We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”
Guglielmi did not elaborate on what he meant by a shift in the case.
Smollett’s attorneys later on Saturday issued a statement saying the actor would continue to cooperate with police, but felt “victimised” by reports that he might have been involved in the attack.
“Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,” the statement from attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said.
Smollett, who is black and gay, has said he was physically attacked by two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and “This is MAGA country!” He said they looped a rope around his neck, before running away as he was out getting food at a Subway restaurant. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him.