Chicago police seek follow-up interview with ‘Empire’ actor

Posted at 5:16 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 06:27:08-05
Jussie Smollett (NBC)
Jussie Smollett (NBC)

CHICAGO – Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett say there are no plans for him to meet with Chicago detectives for a follow-up interview Monday about his reported assault.

Smollett, who is black and gay, reported last month that he was physically and verbally attacked by two masked men who yelled homophobic and racial slurs.

He said they wrapped a rope around his neck before running away as he was returning home from an early morning stop at a Subway restaurant in downtown Chicago. Smollett also claimed the two men poured some kind of chemical on him.

After combing through surveillance video in the heavily monitored area where the Empire actor said the attack occurred, police did not find any footage of the alleged incident.

Police said Saturday that the investigation had “shifted” after detectives questioned two brothers about the attack and later released them without charges.

Chicago law enforcement officials are wrapping their heads around the possibility that the attack was possibly staged, and even paid for by the Empire actor himself.

Police say they have requested a follow-up interview with Smollett.

Anne Kavanagh is a spokeswoman for Smollett’s lawyers. She says in an emailed statement that his lawyers “will keep an active dialogue with Chicago police on his behalf.”

Smollett’s lawyers say the actor feels “victimized” by reports that he played a role in the attack.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)