The Chicago Police are getting suspicious about “Empire” star Jussie Smollett’s account of an alleged racist, anti-gay attack, according to a local reporter.
Outrage spread across the nation when news first broke about the alleged attack on Smollett, who claimed that two people yelled derogatory slurs at him for being a black, openly homosexual man. He says they also punched him, doused him with a chemical substance, and put a thin rope around his neck before running away.
But the outrage exploded into full force when TMZ reported that Smollett told his friends that his attackers were white men who told him “This is MAGA country!” President Trump and his supporters were soon blamed for inspiring the assault.
Now problems are showing up in Smollett’s account.
According to the Chicago Police, the 36-year-old actor did not tell them about the “This is MAGA Country!” comment and described his attackers as being masked and gloved and of indeterminate gender or skin color.
Then, according to the Associated Press on Wednesday, the police say Smollett did not contact them right away but went to his apartment. His manager notified authorities 40 minutes later.
When they arrived, they said Smollett had some injuries on his face and, oddly enough, the thin rope still around his neck. Smollett checked himself into a hospital after police advised him to do so.
Investigators have scoured hundreds of hours of footage but have not found any showing the attack. They also have not found the container that housed the liquid that was allegedly dumped on Smollett’s head. The FBI has also been involved.
Reporter Rafer Weigel of Fox 32 Chicago wrote on Twitter that “My sources in Chicago PD are telling me this is looking more and more like a hoax.”
After receiving a backlash for his reporting, Weigel defended himself, writing, “To be clear. I am not accusing #JessieSmollett [sic] of lying. I’m saying #ChicagoPD and Chicago FBI have been working round the clock & have found nothing to support it. And given the extremity of his claims and where they allegedly took place it has them skeptical.”
Late Wednesday afternoon, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi did announce that potential persons of interest had been noted in the footage. They are looking for those individuals so they can question them.