Thursday 27 February, 2020

Police question Jussie Smollett and 2 'persons of interest'

Investigators looking into the reported attack on actor Jussie Smollett are now questioning two persons of interest who were seen in the area at the time of the attack, one of which was an extra on 'Empire', according to law enforcement sources.

The update comes as Smollett gave his first TV interview about the incident and tried to end doubt that he was attacked over two weeks ago.

“I respect too much the people — who I am now one of those people — who have been attacked in any way,” he told “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts. “You do such a disservice when you lie about things like this.”

On the day the interview aired, police interviewed Smollett again. They also questioned two people who were seen in the area where Smollett says he was attacked around 2 a.m. January 29 while walking from a Subway shop. 

A law enforcement source said the two men, who are brothers, were brought in for questioning on Wednesday night from O’Hare International Airport. One of them worked as an extra on “Empire,” the source said.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi emphasised that the two “are not considered suspects at this time.”

He later said it was “unconfirmed” after a media report stated that the two men had staged the attack with Smollett who, the station said, feared he was being written off “Empire.”

“Media reports (about) the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives,” Guglielmi tweeted. “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.”

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