Empire actor Jussie Smollett denies Chicago Police's claims that he orchestrated his own attack
Jussie Smollett was attacked on the morning of 29 January when he was leaving a restaurant in Chicago. Two men shouted racial and homophobic slurs towards him before they attacked him.
Empire star Jussie Smollett has denied the Chicago police claims that he paid two Nigerian brothers to attack him.
In a statement, Smollett's attorneys, Todd S Pugh and Victor P Henderson, said the actor is "angered and devastated" over the recent reports that the investigators believe he may have paid the men to carry out the attack himself.
"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 victimised 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," his attorneys said.
The lawyers said that one of two suspects was Smollett's personal trainer for a music video.
"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," they said.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the Chicago police want to interview Smollett after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on the night of 15 February.
Smollett was attacked on 29 January when he was leaving a restaurant in Chicago. Two men allegedly shouted racial and homophobic slurs towards him before they attacked him.
The actor, who was hospitalised for his injuries, had told the police that the attackers yelled pro-"Make America Great Again" (MAGA) comments during the attack
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