Remember that surveillance picture of two men released by Chicago police in the Jussie Smollett case? Well, on Good Morning America today the “Empire” star says he’s certain they are the guilty ones.
He claims those men in the photo screamed homophobic and racist epithets at him, tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him and beat him. He appears to be frustrated that a growing number of people just don’t believe his story.
As of now, the two men in the photo are only considered “persons of interest” and not suspects by the Chicago PD which says the video shows the 2 men on the other side of the street from Smollett, but there is a 60-second gap in the video.
In fact, Chicago Police say they have identified those two “persons of interests.”
“Through meticulous investigation, #ChicahoPolice [sic] detectives have identified the persons of interest in the area of the alleged attack of the Empire cast member. These individuals are not yet suspects but were in area of concern and are being questioned. Investigation continues,” said Anthony Guglielmi, the chief spokesperson for the Chicago PD, on Twitter.
Guglielmi added this …
“Important for media reporting: The people of interest are alleged to be in the area where a crime was reported. They are not considered suspects at this time as they are currently being questioned by detectives. We remain in communication with the alleged victim.”
In the “Good Morning America” interview, Smollett addressed why he was initially reluctant to hand over the records, saying he did not want his private information in the hands of the police.
“They wanted me to give my phone to the tech for three to four hours. I’m sorry but — I’m not gonna do that,” he said. “Because I have private pictures and videos and numbers: my partner’s number, my family’s number, my castmate’s number, my friends’ numbers, my private emails, my private songs, my private voice memos.”
He also tells Robin Roberts about his injuries and why he kept the rope around his neck until police arrived.