AP

Chicago Police: Jussie Smollett Assault Case Has ‘Shifted’

Feb 16, 2019, 8:54 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:15 pm
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 02: Singer Jussie Smollett performs onstage at Troubadour on ...
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 02: Singer Jussie Smollett performs onstage at Troubadour on February 02, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for ABA)
(Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for ABA)

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police said Saturday the investigation into the attack reported by Jussie Smollett has “shifted” due to information received from two brothers arrested in the case then released, and police want to interview the “Empire” actor again.

Chicago police had released the two Nigerian brothers without charges late Friday and said they were no longer suspects in the reported attack.

“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in an emailed statement Saturday. “We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”

Guglielmi did not elaborate on what he meant by a shift in the case.

A spokeswoman for Smollett did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Smollett, who is black and gay, has said he was attacked early Jan. 29 in Chicago by two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and “This is MAGA country!” He said they looped a rope around his neck before running away as he was out getting food at a Subway restaurant. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him.

Police have said they were investigating the attack as a possible hate crime and considered Smollett a victim.

Reports of the assault drew outrage and support for him on social media, including from U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California and TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Smollett said he was cooperating with police and gave an emotional speech during a concert in West Hollywood, California, on Feb. 2 saying that he went ahead with the show because he couldn’t let his attackers win.

Smollett also gave an interview to Robin Roberts of ABC News that aired Thursday, saying that he was “pissed” at people who did not believe he was attacked.

“I’ve heard that it was a date gone bad, which I also resent that narrative,” he said. “I’m not gonna go out and get a tuna sandwich and a salad to meet somebody. That’s ridiculous. And it’s offensive.”

Earlier this week, police said media reports that the attack was a hoax were unconfirmed.

Producers of the Fox television drama supported Smollett, saying his character on “Empire,” James Lyon, was not being written off the show.

Police said they combed surveillance video in the heavily-monitored downtown Chicago area but were unable to find any footage of the attack.

Smollett turned over redacted phone records that police said were not sufficient for a criminal investigation.

Police released grainy images of two people they said were in the area at the time of the reported attack and said they wanted to question them.

On Wednesday, Chicago police picked up the Nigerian brothers — one of whom they said worked on “Empire” — at O’Hare International Airport as they returned from Nigeria. They described them as “suspects” in the assault, questioned them and searched their apartment.

Then, late Friday evening they released the two men without charges and said they were no longer suspects. They said they had gleaned new information from their interrogation of them.

And then on Saturday, Guglielmi said the investigation had shifted.
___
See AP’s complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case: https://www.apnews.com/JussieSmollett

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

Demonstrators participate in a protest against the police killing of Tyre Nichols on January 27, 20...
Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

Memphis authorities release video in Tyre Nichols’ death

Video showing five Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols, a Black man, has been made public.
2 days ago
An Egyptian archeologist speaks at a recently discovered tomb dated to the Old Kingdom, 2700–2200...
MOHAMED WAGDY

Egypt unveils tombs and sarcophagus in new excavation

Egypt on Thursday unveiled dozens of new archaeological discoveries, including two ancient tombs, at a Pharaonic necropolis just outside of the capital Cairo.
2 days ago
This image taken from video provided by the NAOJ & Asahi Shimbun, shows spiral swirling through...
Audrey McAvoy, Associated Press

Camera captures night sky spiral after SpaceX rocket launch

A camera atop Hawaii's tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky. Researchers believe it shows the aftereffects of a SpaceX rocket launch when the company's Falcon 9 rocket sent a GPS satellite into orbit.
2 days ago
Holding on to their secret and each other, mother and son set out to reclaim their sense of home, i...
LINDSEY BAHR AP Film Writer

‘A Thousand and One’ wins Sundance grand jury prize

"A Thousand and One," a drama about an impoverished single mother and her son in New York City, won the Sundance Film Festival's grand jury prize in the U.S. dramatic competition, while "Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project" was awarded the top prize in the U.S. documentary category.
2 days ago
A Yanomami youth carries a toddler on his shoulders at the Saude Indigenous House, a center respons...
Eleoneore Hughes and Edmar Barros, Associated Press

Why Brazil’s Yanomami are being decimated by disease, mining

Severe malnutrition and disease, particularly malaria, are decimating the Yanomami population in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, and on Jan. 20 the federal government declared a public health emergency.
2 days ago
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at the Zwick...
Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

Green comet zooming our way, last visited 50,000 years ago

A comet is streaking back our way after 50,000 years. NASA says the dirty snowball last visited during Neanderthal times.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Chicago Police: Jussie Smollett Assault Case Has ‘Shifted’