Two African brothers were arrested as suspects in the supposedly homophobic and racist attack in downtown Chicago on actor Jussie Smollett, of the television series “Empire,” the city’s police department said today.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement that two men who were being investigated as “persons of interest” became suspects and were arrested, as there was “probable cause” that they had committed a crime.
The brothers, one of whom worked with Smollett in the series, were arrested at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, returning on Wednesday from Nigeria.
The name of those arrested was not disclosed because they were not formally accused.
This announcement ruled out the rumors that circulated in the last few hours in some local media about the attack, which occurred last month, would have been a lie of the 36-year-old actor, who is openly gay, to cover up an appointment that ended wrong.
“That is an interpretation (of the case) that I reject as ridiculous and offensive,” the actor and African-American singer said in an interview with ABC television.
Smollett denounced that two masked men shouted racial and homophobic insults, beat him and put a rope around his neck while walking alone in the street at 2 am on January 29.
The actor, who was hospitalized, also said the attackers shouted “this is a MAGA zone,” in reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Police spokesman Guglielmi said that “there is no evidence that it was a lie,” and said that Smollett “is still treated as a victim, and not as a suspect.” (EFEUSA) .-