'Empire' actor defends redacted phone records

Carla Harmon
February 13, 2019

A source previously told ET that Smollett was walking around Chicago in the early morning hours of January 29, when two men started yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him, before repeatedly hitting him.

According to police, a PDF is subject to manipulation, but they are not saying they have any evidence that Smollett manipulated his phone records - detectives have now asked Smollett to submit his actual phone bill or a download of his entire phone.

CHICAGO (AP) _ Jussie Smollett is disputing any suggestion that he is being less than cooperative with Chicago police detectives since the "Empire" actor says he was attacked in the city by two masked men.

CBS Chicago and other local outlets report that Johnson still wants Smollett treated as a victim, but will pursue charges against the actor if the case is proven to be a hoax.

Chicago Police have not told us that they are rejecting any records, nor have they expressed concerns about the records to us. "Detectives may be following up with the victim to request additional data to corroborate the investigative timeline".

A neighbor claimed to have seen a "redneck" with a rope but Chicago police were unable to find video surveillance from the area to support this. They also claimed the "Empire" actor "refused" to give the cops his phone. His manager has said that he could hear the attack over the phone and was able to hear the phrase "MAGA country" - the acronym for President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan.

Although police have since asked for help from the public in identifying two persons of interest from surveillance recordings near the site of the attack near the time it occurred.

"I don't believe it happened the way he said it did", Agin Muhammad, who lives in the same apartment complex as the actor, told the Post. "They have cameras everywhere".

The assailants allegedly punched Smollett in the face, doused him with a liquid - believed to be bleach - and tied a rope round around his neck in an underpass between the Sheraton and Loews Chicago hotels. "Why can't they find the attack?"

"It's unclear if that is related to the incident as it was not discovered during any of the earlier canvasses but we took it for analysis", Chicago Police Department (CPD) spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Meanwhile, New York Post reports that residents who live in Jussie's building are giving the side-eye to his official version of events.

Hopefully, the Chicago Police Department is taking this case with the seriousness it deserves.

Other reports by iNewsToday