Jussie Smollett’s attorneys Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson released a statement on Saturday night regarding the recent reports about his potential participation in the attack. It began, “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
Their note continued, “One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity. Jussie and his attorneys anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate. At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to ‘unnamed’ sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels.”
Chicago police are reportedly interested in interviewing Jussie Smollett again following his racially-charged attack in Chicago on Jan. 29.
In the two weeks following the attack, many of Smollett’s Empire’s co-stars spoke out condemning it and he even gave an emotional concert in Los Angeles just days after leaving the hospital.
The Chicago Police Department’s investigation into the attack took a turn on Thursday when they identified two persons of interest in the case. Chicago Police spokesman Tom Ahern told E! News on Thursday that the two men, reportedly brothers, were “under arrest and being questioned as suspects but have not been charged.”
The men were released one day later. The department’s Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted, “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.”
Now, according to a new statement that Guglielmi sent to E! News, the investigation has deviated a bit.
“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,” he wrote.