Chicago police said, on Friday night, that two persons of interest in the alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett are being released without charges.
Chicago police spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, released a statement saying, “Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete.”
Guglielmi said the individuals are no longer being classified as suspects. The investigation remains ongoing.
The lawyer representing the two men spoke Friday night after their release, saying she and the men gave police new evidence in the investigation.
Multiple sources told ABC7 Eyewitness News in Chicago that police are investigating whether Smollett and the two men staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of “Empire.”
A source familiar with the investigation told the ABC7 I-Team that Smollett failed to appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday but has since spoken with police.
According to ABC News, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment released a statement saying, “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.”
Neighbors said they believe the men are Nigerian brothers who grew up in that apartment and have lived there for years. Neighbors described them as friendly and possibly bodybuilders, and said they have long wanted to be actors.
Arrest of Jussie Smollett’s Attackers
The Chicago Police Department has raided and invited two persons of interest in the Jussie Smollett assault case.
According to TMZ, the two men who are of Nigerian heritage were said to have flown out of the country the night after the attack on the Empire star. However, the said men returned to the US on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.
The two Nigerians are said to have been extras on the TV series Empire. Chicago PD has confirmed that the 2 men taken in for questioning are the same men in the surveillance video screen grab. The PD confirms transportation records, along with interviews with Jussie and other witnesses, led to the ID of the 2 men.
The Police have released the photos of the two persons of interest who might have questions to answer. PEOPLE reports that the police has released photographs of two people they wish to question in relation to the alleged assault on Jussie Smollett.
The Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi released an update on the case, revealing how investigators have acquired footage that could lead to the arrests of the Empire actor’s assailants.
“Photos of people of interest who were in area of the alleged assault & battery of Empire cast member,” Guglielmi tweeted on Wednesday evening alongside the photos of the figures, both wearing dark clothing, walking side-by-side.
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