Police: Smollett suspected of lying about attack

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the attack reported by Jussie Smollett (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A police official says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is now considered a suspect “for filing a false police report” and that detectives are presenting the case against him to a grand jury.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted the news on Wednesday after Smollett’s attorneys met with prosecutors and detectives.

Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men while walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He says they beat him, hurled racist and homophobic insults at him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing.

Police couldn’t find surveillance video of the attack but questioned two men who were initially deemed as suspects but who were released Friday. On Saturday, Guglielmi said information from the men had “shifted” the investigation and that police want to speak to Smollett again.

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3:10 p.m.

A police official says lawyers for Jussie Smollett are meeting with prosecutors and police investigators about the reported attack on the “Empire” actor late last month.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the meeting was taking place Wednesday afternoon. He declined to confirm reports that subpoenas had been issued for Smollett’s phone and bank records.

Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men while walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He says they beat him, hurled racist and homophobic insults at him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing.

Police couldn’t find surveillance video of the attack but questioned two men who were initially deemed as suspects but who were released Friday. On Saturday, Guglielmi said information from the men had “shifted” the investigation and that police want to speak to Smollett again.

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11:45 a.m.

Fox Television says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett “continues to be a consummate professional on set” and it has reiterated that he’s not being written out of the show.

The statement issued Wednesday by 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment follows reports that Smollett’s role on the show was being slashed amid police investigations into the actor’s report that he was attacked in Chicago last month.

The 36-year old told Chicago police that two masked men beat him, yelled homophobic and racial slurs and looped a rope around his neck. Smollett is black and gay.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said last week that media reports about the attack being a hoax were unconfirmed by case detectives. Police said Saturday that their investigation had “shifted” after they interviewed two brothers who were arrested and later released.

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6:40 a.m.

Chicago police say they’ve dismissed a tip that on the night “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two masked men, he was in an elevator at his apartment building with two brothers later arrested and released from custody.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday that a person in the building reported seeing the three together the night in question last month. But he says video evidence shows the report isn’t credible.

Guglielmi says the two brothers meet with investigators Tuesday. There was no immediate word on what they discussed.

Smollett has said two masked men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him and looped a rope around his neck. Smollett is black and gay.

On Saturday, police announced that the “investigation had shifted” following interviews with the brothers. Police have requested another interview with Smollett.

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Check out the AP’s complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case: https://www.apnews.com/JussieSmollett

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