According to CBS Chicago, Chicago police tweeted that reports about the “incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives.” Police released a statement Friday speaking further on this, saying:
“Interviews will resume today with the two people of interest and their attorney. While we haven’t found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is also no evidence to say that this is a hoax. The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as the victim, not a suspect. The investigation continues.”
Reports that Smollett might have orchestrated the attack came about on Thursday when ABC7 Chicago released a story citing “multiple sources” that the actor staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of Empire.
However, a representative for Smollett denied that he was being written off the TV show. Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment released a statement on the allegation too, 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.”
The two people of interest who have been arrested in connection with Smollett’s attack are two Nigerian brothers. According to CBS News, the brothers apparently left for Nigeria the same day as the alleged attack. The men have worked with Smollett on Empire and have spent time with him in the gym. But the pair say they had no involvement with the attack. Initial reports of the incident said it was two white men who attacked the actor.
“They are baffled about why they are people of interest,” Gloria Schmidt, the attorney representing the brothers, said. “It’s an awful thing that happened to Jussie, but it’s not my guys.”
“This is someone that they know, this is someone that they’ve worked with. So they don’t want to see somebody go through that,” she added.
Schmidt said they could face charges as early as Friday but it’s unknown what they could be charged with.
Source: CBS Chicago