Chicago Police Deny Media Reports That Jussie Smollett Attack Was A Hoax

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

Chicago police are denying reports that actor Jussie Smollett helped stage his own attack because he is being written off the show “Empire.”

Two Chicago TV stations, citing anonymous sources, are reporting that Smollett lied to police about the Jan. 29 attack and that he helped plan it with two others who were extras on the show.

“We have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Investigators have confirmed they are interviewing two “persons of interest” in the attack.

The two men “are not considered suspects at this time,” but may have been in the area where the attack occurred, according to Guglielmi.

Guglielmi also said police won’t release any details about the case, including a timeline of events during the attack or the identities of those being questioned.

Police reportedly raided the home of the two “persons of interest” Wednesday night, according to WBBM-TV, removing bleach, shoes, electronics, and other items.

The station is also reporting the two men have appeared as extras on “Empire,” meaning Smollett may have known them.

Smollett told police he was attacked around 2 a.m. Jan. 29 in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood by two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs. He said they attacked him and wrapped a noose around his neck. He was hospitalized briefly for treatment of his injures.

It’s taken police weeks to find the people they believe were in a surveillance video taken the morning of the attack.

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