The Chicago Police Department said on Saturday that it wanted to continue talking to "Empire" star Jussie Smollett, as reportedly, two brothers who were arrested and who once considered potential suspects in an attack on the actor were investigators had communicated that they should be kidnapped part of a hoax.
At the end of last month, Smollett described an attack on him in which two masked men attacked him and called for homophobic and racial insults.
"After talking to the former suspects last night, the detectives resorted to Jussie Smollett's lawyers and expressed their interest in us having to speak with him again," said Anthony Guglielmi, police spokesman for Chicago, in a brief speech telephone interview. He declined to discuss the reports describing reports that the brothers had reportedly made to the investigators.
Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, Lawyers representing Smollett issued a statement on Saturday saying, "As a victim of a hate crime that has interacted with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is upset by the youngest people and destroys reports that the perpetrators are people with whom he is familiar.
The statement added, "One of these suspected suspects was Jussie's personal trainer, whom he physically provided for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or was wrongfully claiming Jussie's complicity. "
The lawyers said Smollett would" continue to work together "and" not be inclined to respond to it "unnamed & # 39; Sources within the investigation.
One of the brothers had worked as an "Empire" and her lawyer Gloria Schmidt confirmed that they both knew Smollett, and the two men were arrested on Wednesday after they arrived from Nigeria, and the police ransacked their home the same day CBS Chicago removed several items, including an "Empire" script, a phone, and a black face mask hat, initially referred to as "potential buyers." 19659010 On Friday, they called the Chicago police "potential suspects," but on Friday night The police have still not publicly stated why.
The brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo could not be reached for comment and Ms. Schmidt declined to comment on the reports on Saturday. said, however, that the brothers had completed their cooperation with the police.
Smollett is skeptical After his first report was filed in the prosecution, his account, which had appeared on social media, was denied.
In this report, Smollett, black and gay, said he was attacked in the early hours of January 29 by two masked men who referred to "Empire." He also said that the attackers referred to it as "MAGA Land," an allusion to President Trump's motto "Make America Great Again." According to Smollett's report, the men slapped a noose around their necks, poured a chemical over them, and fled.
Investigators could not find much evidence of suspects. There were no surveillance shots of the attack in an area of the city that the police claimed was heavily covered by cameras. Days after Smollett spoke to the police for the first time, the department published a picture identifying two men as potential buyers. According to the police, these were the two men who detained them this week. That the men of Nigerian descent are acquaintances of Smollett has fueled further speculation about the circumstances of an attack.
A spokesman for Fox, the network in which "Empire" appears, declined to comment.
In an interview aired Thursday in "Good Morning America," Smollett was convinced his story was true. Law enforcement agencies relied on his allegations for weeks, publicly saying investigators had no reason to doubt his story.
"It feels like I said it was a Muslim or a Mexican or someone Black Doubters would have supported me a lot more," said Smollett Robin Roberts of ABC. "Much more."
He said he was confident that the men in the surveillance images released by the law enforcement agencies were his attackers.
"Because I was there," Smollett said. "For me, when this was released, I thought," OK, we're getting somewhere. "I have no doubt that they are, never."
After breaking the news of Smollett's incident, several celebrities and interest groups supported the actor, as the case received national attention.
Someone involved in the entertainment business made a joint statement saying, "We want to make it clear that this was a racist and homophobic hate crime." Jussie has everything to the police right from the start His story has never changed and we are confident that they will find these men and bring them to justice. "
Even President Trump refused the Oval Office and said the attack was" horrible "and" not "Getting worse."
Smollett responded to Trump's comments during the ABC interview: "I saw it I do not know what to say. You know, I appreciate that he does not paint over it. "