Jussie Smollett ‘angered by claims he’s familiar with attackers’
Jussie Smollett is “angered and devastated” by suggestions he’s familiar with his alleged attackers.
The 36-year-old actor - who required hospital treatment after he was attacked last month - has rubbished claims that he knows the people responsible for the incident, after Chicago Police announced they had “shifted the trajectory” of their investigation.
Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, the actor’s attorneys, said in a statement: “As a victim of a hate crime who has co-operated 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.”
Jussie claims to have been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
The actor has also dismissed the suggestion that he was somehow complicit in the incident.
The statement 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.”
The statement was released shortly after two brothers arrested in connection with the attack on Jussie were released without charge.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote on Twitter: “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.”
Jussie previously discussed the incident on ‘Good Morning America’, saying it had all happened “so fast”.
He added: “It felt like minutes but it was probably [over in] 30 seconds.”