CHICAGO (CBS) — Attorneys for Empire actor Jussie Smollet said he does not plan to meet with Chicago police on Monday, as detectives seek to interview him again about the alleged attack last month in Streeterville.
“There are no plans for Jussie Smollett to meet with Chicago police today,” a spokesperson for Smollett’s attorneys, Victor Henderson and Todd Pugh, stated in an email. “Smollett’s attorneys will keep an active dialogue going with Chicago police on his behalf. We have no further comment today.”
Police said they are still working with Smollett’s attorneys to schedule a time for that follow-up interview.
Chicago police have said they want to speak to Smollett again, because of “new evidence” learned from interrogating two men once considered potential suspects in the case. Police said Smollett is not considered a suspect, detectives just want to interview him to corroborate the new information they received from the two men who were released.
In a matter of days, the two men, who are brothers, went from persons of interest to potential suspects to being released without charges.
Sources said the brothers are now cooperating with police.
Smollett has said two men attacked him while he was walking home around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He claimed they yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him, poured a chemical on him and put a rope around his neck.
Sources told CBS 2 News that Smollett paid the two men $3,500 to stage the attack in Streeterville. The brothers, seen on surveillance video near the scene of the alleged attack, told investigators Smollett directed them to buy the rope used in the incident, and paid for the purchase at Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in Ravenswood days before the incident.
The brothers, who were questioned by police last week before being released, were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return.
They left for Nigeria later in the day on Jan. 29, after the attack.
Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and yelled slurs at Smollett.
The sources say the red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29. The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening.
All three men rehearsed their plan just days before everything played out.
Sunday night, police released a statement which said they “are not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what’s been unofficially released.”
“There are some developments in this investigation and detectives have some follow-ups to complete which include speaking to the individual who reported the incident,” CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stated.
Police raided the the brothers’ home on Wednesday, the same day police met them at O’Hare International Airport, as they were returning from Nigeria.
Pictures from the raid show the front door broken off its frame, items thrown across the living room, bedroom doors damaged and clothes tossed everywhere.
Police left behind an inventory list. Some of the items seized include a black face mask hat, an Empire script, phone, receipts, a red hat and bleach.
Smollett’s attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, have denied the reports he staged the attack:
“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.
“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.”
One of the brothers appeared on Empire with Smollett as an extra, and the other was Smollett’s personal trainer.