Update: 7:30 pm ET (Feb. 14, 2019) – Chicago PD is denying reports that claim the attack against Jussie Smollett was staged due to him being written out of Empire. The police department claims those rumors have not been confirmed at this time.
20th Century Fox TV, the network that distributes Empire, also denied those reports. The network released a statement claiming that Jussie is a very important character on the TV series. “The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of Empire is patently ridiculous,” 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment said today (Feb. 14). “He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”
Original story published below…
Chicago police investigating the attack against Jussie Smollett reportedly brought him and two other people, who are reportedly African-American males, in for questioning on Thursday (Feb. 14), the Chicago Tribune reports. One of the two people interviewed included an actor who allegedly works on the set of Empire.
The Tribune claims that police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi emphasized that the two “are not considered suspects at this time.” That report conflicts with TMZ’s, however, which reports that both have been pegged “persons of interest.” Multiple sources have also told ABC News Chicago that Smollett and the two men being questioned allegedly staged the whole attack because his character was being written out of Empire.
.@WGNInvestigates has learned new details about the two men police are questioning about Jussie Smollett’s claim he was the victim of a racial & homophobic attack:
1) Both men are African-American
2) At least 1 of them is connected to the “Empire” show
— Ben Bradley (@BenBradleyTV) February 14, 2019
Officials have not revealed the name of the actor who was questioned, and it’s unclear if both suspects are the two people seen in the grainy video released in Jan. 2019. They do, however, believe that the two people were at the scene of the alleged attack.
Sources close to the situation stated that the suspects were picked up by Chicago Police Department on Wednesday night (Feb. 13) for further questioning after flew flew into O’Hare Airport, TMZ reports.
The latest report comes briefly after the actor appeared on his first TV interview since the incident on Good Morning America.
“I will never be the man that this did not happen to. I am forever changed,” the actor said of allegedly being attacked by MAGA supporters. “And I don’t subscribe to the idea that everything happens for a reason, but I do subscribe to the idea that we have the right and the responsibility to make something meaningful out of the things that happen to us, good and bad.”