Chicago Police on Thursday (14 February) slammed reports that the alleged homophobic and racist attack on Jussie Smollett was staged.
‘Media reports anout [sic] the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives’ Chicago Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi wrote on Twitter.
ABC7 on Thursday reported that police were investigating whether Smollett and two persons of interest in the case staged the attack in Chicago late last month, citing unnamed sources.
ABC7 suggested Smollett may have staged the attack as he had been written off Empire.
But, Guglielmi said on Thursday, ‘we have no evidence to support their [ABC7’s] reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate’.
Media reports anout 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. pic.twitter.com/iSO5YFv452
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 15, 2019
What’s more, a spokesperson for Smollett denounced the reports as ‘ridiculous rumors’, according to Variety.
20th Century Fox, which produces Empire, also released a statement. It said ’the idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off Empire is patently ridiculous’.
‘He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him’.
— TVMoJoe (@TVMoJoe) February 15, 2019
In the early hours of Tuesday morning (29 January), two white men attacked Smollett. Police confirmed the men shouted homophobic and racial slurs.
They reportedly put a noose around Smollett’s neck and ‘poured an unknown chemical substance’ on him.
Smollett was hospitalized after the attack and discharged later that morning.
ABC News reported that Jussie told police that his attackers yelled ‘MAGA country’ at him during the attack. MAGA is an acronym for Donald Trump’s slogan ‘Make America Great Again’.
Smollett himself said he was ‘pissed off’ some people don’t believe his account of the incident.
‘It’s the attackers [that have my angry] but it’s also the attacks. At first it was a thing of like, listen if I tell the truth then that’s it cause it’s the truth.’