Police in America believe Empire star Jussie Smollett paid two men to carry out an alleged assault on him, which he’s said to have reported late last month.
According to a statement from Smollett’s attorneys, the actor denies playing any role in his attack.
However, two men who were arrested in connection with the assault on Wednesday (February 13), were released without charge on Friday (February 15), after Chicago police stated there was ‘new evidence’.
According to CNN, sources are said to have told them the two men are now fully cooperating with the police.
The 36-year-old star reportedly told authorities he was attacked on January 29, by two men who were ‘yelling out racial and homophobic slurs’.
Smollett stated one of the attackers put a rope around his neck, as well as pouring some sort of chemical substance on him.
Two law enforcement sources are said to have told CNN there are records showing the two attackers – who are brothers – purchased the rope found around his neck at a hardware store in Chicago.
Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson – Smollett’s attorneys – issued a statement to CNN last night (February 16), which states the Alien: Covenant actor is angry about the latest developments:
As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.
He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack.
Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.
They also added they’re expecting Chicago police to give them further updates regarding the investigation, and will continue to cooperate with the authorities.
The statement continued:
At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to ‘unnamed’ sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels.
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, stated Smollett told detectives he was attacked by two men near the entrance of a hotel in Chicago.
Police were also told the two men yelled ‘Empire’ f****t’ and ‘Empire n****r’ while attacking him.
Police released surveillance images the day after the alleged incident, which shows two individuals walking down a sidewalk, who were wanted for questioning.
Smollett identifies as gay and since 2015 has played the gay character of Jamal on the hugely popular show Empire.
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A sports enthusiast with a BA (Hons) in Sports Journalism, who can be found predominantly at Villa Park. Having completed a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, she then went on to work at Sky Sports, the BBC, and the Mirror. When not engrossed in sport, it’s animals, guitars, and Liam Gallagher which take main focus.