"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett says in a new interview that he is angry to hear that some people doubt his account of an alleged assault in Chicago last month by two men that is being investigated as a hate crime.
In an interview airing Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Smollett says he is "pissed off" over the reaction to his statements about the incident. Smollet has claimed that two men yelled racist, homophobic and pro-Trump language after beating him in a late-night attack while the actor was walking in the city.
“I’m pissed off,” Smollett told host Robin Roberts in an interview clip obtained by Variety. “At first, it was a thing of, like, ‘Listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it,’ ’cause it’s the truth. Then it became a thing of like, ‘Oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you ... not believe that? It’s the truth.' "
No suspects have been identified in the case, though Chicago police announced two persons of interest in the investigation last month. Police have also said that they have found no video footage yet of the attack, while noting that coverage of Smollett's walk did contain gaps where the actor could not be seen on surveillance cameras.
On Tuesday, Chicago police announced that Smollett had provided "heavily redacted" phone records of his calls prior to the attack, which the police had requested to confirm a statement from Smollett that he had been on the phone with his manager just prior to the attack.
“We are very appreciative of the victim’s cooperation,” Chicago police told The Hill on Tuesday. “However the records provided do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation, as they were limited and heavily redacted.”
In their own statement, Smollett's family told The Hill on Tuesday that they were confident police would identify and arrest the actor's attackers.
“Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie’s account of what happened that night consistent and credible. Superintendent Johnson has been clear from day one that Jussie is a victim. We are continuing to work closely with the Chicago PD and remain confident that they will find Jussie’s attackers and bring them to justice," the family said.