Chicago police have release footage of the night of actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged attack. It shows Smollett with a rope around his neck.
Smollett claimed two men had targeted him in a homophobic and racist hate crime in Chicago in January this year. He said they poured some kind of chemical on him and that the tied the rope around his neck.
After initial investigations police charged the 36-year-old openly gay Empire actor for allegedly fabricating and planning the attack.
In the footage Smollett is heard saying he does not want to be filmed and left the rope around his neck so ‘you all could see it’.
Smollett didn’t want it filmed
Police released about 70 hours of footage, including body cam footage from inside Smollett’s apartment.
‘He doesn’t want this to be a big deal, you understand what I’m saying,’ Smollett’s manager tells police in the video.
‘The thing that makes me emotional is they put this makeshift loop, what do you call that thing, a noose around his fucking neck. I’m sorry, you know. And that is what bothers me, the cut thing doesn’t bother me at all. If that makes any sense.’
Police then ask Smollett if he wants to take the noose off. Smollett does and then asks police to stop filming.
‘You’re filming this right?’ Smollett’s manager asks.
‘Yes, this is all data,’ an officer responds.
‘They are filming,’ Smollett’s manager tells the actor. ‘Can we turn it off?’
‘Yeah,’ the officer replies. ‘You are giving us permission to shut it off?’
The footage also shows the arrest of brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo as they return from Nigeria. The brothers allegedly received payment from Smollett to attack him. Some have accused Smollett of allegedly staging the attack in order to negotiate a higher salary at Empire.
On Friday (21 June) a judge appointed a special prosecutor to investigate why County Cook prosecutors dismissed charges against Smollett and whether he should face new charges. He had been charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.
But in February County Cook prosecutors dismissed the charges and offered Smollett in exchange for community service and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond payment.
The City of Chicago has also sued Smollett over $130,000 in costs resulting from the investigation.