Police in Chicago say that they are seeking to interview actor Jussie Smollett again, after new information came to light in the investigation of an alleged assault against him, causing detectives to alter the “trajectory” of their inquiries.
The 36-year-old actor says that he was attacked at approximately 2am on the night of January 29 by two men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck, before fleeing on foot.
Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said on Friday that media reports about the attack on Smollett being “staged” were unconfirmed by detectives, and that the unnamed sources behind the these statements were “uninformed and inaccurate.”
Earlier this week, two men – at least one of whom appeared to know Jussie Smollett socially, and had worked as an extra on the TV show Empire – were taken in for questioning in relation to the case. Both were released without charge yesterday, after “new evidence” came to light.
Case Update: 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. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019
In the wake of this development, Guglielmi said that police had “additional investigative work” to complete. He has since made another statement indicating that investigators wish to speak with Smollett again, telling media:
“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. We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”
This represents the latest official statement on the case by police. The Fox network, which has remained supporting of Smollett throughout the investigation, has not released any official comment on the newest developments in the case.