‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett speaks out for first time since alleged attack
Chicago police said Monday they had located additional surveillance cameras in the area where "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett allegedly was attacked last week.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the footage from those cameras was being "downloaded and reviewed." He added that two individuals seen in the area around the time Smollett said he was attacked — and considered "people of interest" – had not yet been identified "as homeless or otherwise." Guglielmi previously said investigators would go painstakingly through footage to reconstruct what Smollett said happened to him early on the morning of Jan. 29.
According to an initial police report obtained by Fox News, the 36-year-old Smollett, who is black and openly gay, told officers that he was accosted while walking to his apartment by two men who called him an "Empire f—-t [n-word]." Smollett then said the men beat him and poured an "unknown chemical substance" on him, staining his clothes. The report said that when responding officers arrived, Smollett had a white rope draped around his neck, but the report did not specify whether his alleged attackers put the rope there.
The report also says that Smollett initially did not want to report the alleged attack, but his manager did so because "he believed it to be in the best interest."
That area of downtown Chicago has many hotels and restaurants and has widespread surveillance-video coverage, and although police have found footage of Smollett making his way home — including video of him arriving at his building with a rope around his neck — they haven't found footage of the attack or men fitting his description of his attackers. The police report said both men were dressed in black and one of them, referred to as the "primary aggressor," was wearing a black mask.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during an appearance on WLS-TV Friday that Smollett has been "very cooperative and we have no reason at this point to think he's not being genuine with us." For his part, Smollett insisted in a statement Friday that he had been "100 [percent] factual and consistent on every level.
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"Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served," he added.
On Saturday night, Smollett performed at a previously scheduled concert in West Hollywood, Calif., where he told the crowd that he was "not fully healed yet, but I'm going to be and I'm gonna stand strong with y'all."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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