Chicago police contested media reports on Thursday that officers were investigating whether "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett staged being physically assaulted because he was being written out of the television show. The 36-year-old actor, who is openly gay, described the assailants as white men wearing ski masks, who asked Smollett if he was "that f***ot Empire n*****?" before attacking him with a rope and bleach.
Some even explicitly blamed President Trump, buoyed by the detail Mr. Smollett claimed that his attackers told him the area was "MAGA country".
But Chicago police spokesman AJ Guglielmi tweeted via his official account that the report is incorrect.
A source familiar with the investigation told WLS that Smollett failed to appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday.
Additionally, after the rumors surfaced on various sites, Chicago PD spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi took to Twitter to state that rumors of the attack being staged or a hoax are "unconfirmed" by the case detectives.
"At first, it was like, "Listen, if I tell the truth then that's it because it's the truth", Smollett said.
EPL: Lacazette worries about Arsenal team after 2-1 win at Huddersfield
They picked up five points against the other teams in the group, so it really was Arsenal that prevented their progress. Arsenal struck 10 goals past Bate when the teams met last season but they are taking nothing for granted.
Sources told the news station that police picked up two persons of interest at O'Hare International Airport Wednesday night and questioned them.
Smollett's rep said earlier in the day that he was glad to see progress was being made.
With the police and Fox both pushing back forcefully against the ABC and CBS reports, it's impossible to say with absolute certainty what the truth of the matter is yet.
He continued, "We ended up tussling by the stairs, fighting, fighting, fighting".
"I understand how hard it will be to find them but we gotta", Smollett said.
"I noticed the rope around my neck and I started screaming 'There's a f***ing rope around my neck", he said. This is someone they know. And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more.
"They are really baffled why they are people of interest", she said.
The Smollett attack, which supposedly occurred January 29, had been the object of widespread condemnation from almost every top national Democratic politician - former Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sens.