Chicago police is pushing back on reports that the alleged attack on “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was staged by the actor to avoid being written off the show.
Local media had reported that “multiple sources” told them police has concluded that the actor and singer staged the attack.
In a statement by Chicago PD communications officer Anthony Guglielmi, the police said:
Media reports about the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted
@ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate.
According to Charlie De Mar, a reporter for CBS Chicago, two persons of interest, of Nigerian descent, were arrested in connection to the alleged attack. He said he spoke to family members of the men, who said they travelled for Nigeria hours after the alleged attack.
Local media had also reported that the men had appeared as extras on the show “Empire”.
BREAKING:Police raided the home of two persons of interest in Jussie Smollett case last night. Both men are of Nigerian decent and have appeared as extras on the show. Police took bleach, shoes electronics and more.Officers asked family if they knew #Jussiesmollett. @cbschicago
@cbschicago This information is according to family who says home was ransacked. I asked family why they think police picked the two brothers up for questioning and they replied by saying the men left for #Nigeria the day of the attack. @cbschicago
Also on the inventory list taken from the brothers home was “Script-Empire.” Attorney says men have appeared as extras on #Empire. #Jussiesmollett #Jussiesmollett @cbschicago
MORE: This is inside the home of two men in police custody listed as persons of interest. According to family they left for Nigeria the same day (but hours after) the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett. @cbschicago #JussieSmollette #Empire
According to Variety, Pamela Sharp, a spokesperson for Jussie said the reports about staging were “ridiculous rumors.” “He’s been very cooperative and very consistent,” she added.
Fox, in a statement has said Jussie is not being written off the show.
“The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of ‘Empire’ is patently ridiculous. He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him,” the statement said.
Photo Credit: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images