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Jussie Smollett Hits Back After Police Statement

Actor says he has cooperated fully with authorities
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2019 5:05 PM CST
In this May 14, 2018 file photo, Jussie Smollett, a cast member in the TV series "Empire," attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation afterparty in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Actor Jussie Smollett on Tuesday dismissed any suggestion that he has been less than cooperative with police since the star of the Empire television drama reported he was attacked by two masked men in Chicago last month. Smollett's representatives issued a statement a day after police said the heavily redacted phone records he turned over to detectives this week were insufficient for a criminal investigation, the AP reports. "Jussie is the victim here, which has been stated by the Superintendent of Police," the statement says. "Jussie has voluntarily provided his phone records from within an hour of the attack and given multiple statements to police." The statement said Smollett had a good reason for turning over what police called a redacted file.

"Any redacted information was intended to protect the privacy of personal contacts or high-profile individuals not relevant to the attack," according to the statement. The statement is the latest in a back-and-forth between Smollett and police since he reported the attack took place on Jan. 29. Chicago PD spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said Smollett turned over some but not all of the phone records that detectives asked him for. Police have made no arrests and said they have found no surveillance video that shows the attack. They released video of two people in the area at the time who they said were persons of interest. Police have collected video surveillance footage from cameras in the downtown area and have also extended their search to stores in the area in the hopes of gathering evidence on who might have purchased the rope. (Here's what Smollett had to say at his first public appearance since the attack.)


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