WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Rumors that Jussie Smollett’s assault was staged by the actor were denied by the Chicago Police Department as well as the producer of 20th Century Fox TV.
- CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said via Twitter that no evidence supported the controversies reported by news agencies that Smollett’s attack was a bluff.
- Denying that Smollett will be removed from the show, Empire producers asserted that Smollet’s TV character remains a main role.
The Chicago Police Department refuted reports that actor Jussie Smollett staged his own assault due to rumors that his Empire role will be written off the show.
“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,” Guglielmi tweeted.
Empire producer 20th Century Fox TV also denied that Smollet was being written off the successful show maintaining that his role remains a major player and that they continue to support him.
Instead, after hours of careful scrutiny of evidence from surveillance videos and interviews, two persons of interest in the alleged attack were located on Wednesday evening and currently being questioned, says CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
This latest progress in the investigations came after Smollett’s first TV interview after the attack was aired. A spokesman for Smollett said they are glad of the latest development in the case and are waiting to hear further details.
Smollett related to the police that masked men punched him while throwing homophobic and racist insults at him, and put a thin rope around his neck before running away. His attackers yelled that he was in “MAGA country” referring to Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” which is deemed by critic as racist and discriminatory.
With the latest rumors, Smollett is “pissed off” that people question his story, that maybe he added some ‘trinket’ like the MAGA insult to make him more interesting.
“I didn’t need to add anything like that. They called me a f—–, they called me a n——. There’s no which way you cut it. I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of some racist sundae.”
“He is a victim, and we treat him like a victim. He’s been very cooperative,” Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson said of Smollett.
Police report that the alleged assault occurred at 2 a.m. after the actor was getting home from a Subway restaurant. Reportedly, the weapons used in the attack were “hands, feet, teeth, etc.
When asked why he did not give his cellphone to the police so that a tech expert could examine it for “three or four hours, Smollett said, “I‘m sorry but I’m not going to do that.”
“Because I have private pictures and videos and numbers: my partner’s number, my family’s number, my cast mate’s number, my friends’ numbers, my private emails, my private songs, my private voice memos,” he added.