Chicago police have questioned two people of interest in connection to an attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett that detectives are investigating as a possible hate crime.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement that detectives have questioned two people who are alleged to have been in the area where the attack occurred. They are not considered suspects at this time, he said.
“After a meticulous investigation with the use of advance technology, interviews with the victim and witnesses and transportation records, detectives have identified two persons of interest in the Empire cast member case,” Guglielmi tells TIME. “No further information available at this time.”
On Jan. 29 Smollett reported that he was approached by two men as he was walking down a Chicago street. The men allegedly began yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him and beat Smollett’s face with their hands, according to the Chicago Police Department.
Police said Smollett told them that the attackers poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him and wrapped a rope around his neck.
The two attackers then fled the scene and Smollett took himself to Northwestern Hospital.
Detectives have recovered surveillance footage of Smollett arriving home with a rope around his neck, but have still not found footage of the attack, police said.
On Jan. 31 Chicago Police released images of two men caught on surveillance in the area who were wanted for questioning, it is not confirmed if these are the same men detectives have questioned.
Smollett, an openly gay actor, is best known for his starring role on the FOX hit Empire, where he plays the role of Jamal Lyon. His character on the show is also gay.
- What a Photographer Saw in the West Bank
- The Dirty Secrets of Alternative Plastics
- Accenture’s Chief AI Officer on Why This Is a Defining Moment
- We Should Get Paid for Our Online Data: Column
- Inside COP28's Big 'Experiment'
- The 100 Must-Read Books of 2023
- The Top 100 Photos of 2023
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time