In The Know

Police deny reports Smollett and two other men staged attack

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Chicago police on Thursday say they “have no evidence” to support reports they are investigating whether actor Jussie Smollett fabricated the story about his alleged assault in Chicago last month.  

Chicago police spokesman said reports the attack was a hoax are “unconfirmed by case detectives” following multiple reports by Chicago news media.

“Media reports [about] the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted Thursday night.

{mosads}A local CBS affiliate reported based on sources that police are investigating whether Smollett and two other persons of interest “potentially staged the attack.”

Sources made similar allegations to Chicago’s ABC7, which reported that sources allege the attack was staged because the star was being written off of the show “Empire.” ABC 7 also reported that Smollett did not appear for an interview with police earlier in the day.

Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment denied the allegation that the “Empire” actor was being written off the program. 

“The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of Empire is patently ridiculous,” the network said in a statement to multiple media outlets. “He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”

Smollett has maintained that his account of being attacked by two men in Chicago in late January is true. Police are investigating his account as a possible hate crime. His family described it as “racial and homophobic.” 

Smollett said in an interview Thursday morning with ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he is “pissed off” over the reaction he has received about his statements in relation to the incident.  

“I’m pissed off,” he said. “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 yet been identified in the case, though local authorities announced two persons of interest last month in the investigation.

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.

-Updated 8:13 p.m.


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