Chicago Police have identified “persons of interests” in connection with the attack on “Empire” star Jussie Smollett last month.
“Through a meticulous investigation, #ChicagoPolice detectives have identified the persons of interest in the area of the alleged attack of the Empire cast member. These individuals are not yet suspects but were in area of concern and are being questioned. Investigation continues,” Anthony Guglielmi, the chief spokesperson for the Chicago PD, said on Twitter.
He continued: “Important for media reporting: The people of interest are alleged to be in the area where a crime was reported. They are not considered suspects at this time as they are currently being questioned by detectives. We remain in communication with the alleged victim.”
Smollett has said the attack took place on Jan. 29 at 2 a.m., after the actor says that two men jumped him, yelling racial epithets while placing a rope around his neck. A police statement said unspecified chemicals were poured on the star’s face, and a rope placed around his neck.
As of Thursday morning, Chicago police have not made any arrests in the case and have issued statements seeking access to Smollett’s cellphone since he said he was on a call with his manager, Brandon Z. Moore, during the attack.
Smollett turned over redacted phone records, but Guglielmi said in a statement at that time, “We are very appreciative of the victim’s cooperation however the records provided do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation.”
In an interview on “Good Morning America” Thursday morning, Smollett addressed why he was initially reluctant to hand over the records, saying he did not want his private information in the hands of the police.
“They wanted me to give my phone to the tech for three to four hours. I’m sorry but — I’m not gonna do that,” he said. “Because I have private pictures and videos and numbers: my partner’s number, my family’s number, my castmate’s number, my friends’ numbers, my private emails, my private songs, my private voice memos.”
Important for media reporting: The people of interest are alleged to be in the area where a crime was reported. They are not considered suspects at this time as they are currently being questioned by detectives. We remain in communication with the alleged victim. pic.twitter.com/JuH1kYRTYV
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 14, 2019