UPDATE (11:50 a.m. EST): Smollett will give his first televised interview following his attack to Good Morning America on Thursday. Below is a clip of the Empire star speaking with Robin Roberts.
ORIGINAL: Weeks after Jussie Smollett said he was attacked by racist and homophobic assailants, representatives from his camp are responding to rumors and social media criticism that the Empire actor might be lying.
“Jussie is the victim here, which has been stated by the Superintendent of Police,” the statement provided to Out reads. “Jussie has voluntarily provided his phone records from within an hour of the attack and given multiple statements to police. Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie’s account of what happened that night consistent and credible.”
Smollett alleged he had just returned to Chicago early January 29 when around 2 a.m. he left his home to get something to eat from Subway. Upon being recognized as “that faggot Empire n*****?,” sources told TMZ, Smollett was assaulted by two men who poured a clear liquid on him, believed to be bleach, and put his head in a noose. Police confirmed that Smollett said his attackers yelled "MAGA country" as they attacked him.
After reporting the incident to police and conducting an initial interview with them, Smollett went to the hospital. Though bruised, he was not admitted and returned home.
A video of Smollett with a rope around his neck returning to his building after the reported incident has been recovered by the police but has yet to be released, according to The Advocate. Local police say they will not release this footage until the investigation in finished.
Police have said they are investigating the incident as a “possible hate crime.” On January 31, they released photos of two “persons of interest.”
The statement from Smollett’s camp comes after the actor-singer turned over phone records that police said were “limited and heavily redacted.” In their report, The Advocate said that the records “have been rejected by local police,” as a result. CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that “detectives may be following up … to request additional data to corroborate the investigative timeline.”
Smollett’s team contends that any redacted information was done to “protect the privacy of personal contacts or high-profile individuals not relevant to the attack.”
According to ABC7 Chicago, Smollett’s representatives said that "Chicago Police have not told us that they are rejecting any records, nor have they expressed concerns about the records to us. Therefore, we don't feel compelled to be bated into responding to uncorroborated press reports.”
Read the full statement to Out below:
“Jussie is the victim here, which has been stated by the Superintendent of Police. Jussie has voluntarily provided his phone records from within an hour of the attack and given multiple statements to police. Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie’s account of what happened that night consistent and credible. Superintendent Johnson has been clear from day one that Jussie is a victim. We are continuing to work closely with the Chicago PD and remain confident that they will find Jussie’s attackers and bring them to justice.
Any redacted information was intended to protect the privacy of personal contacts or high-profile individuals not relevant to the attack.”