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Jussie Smollett: Police Investigating Whether He staged Attack; Allegedly Being Written off ‘Empire’

*The Jussie Smollett situation took another turn today when Chicago police confirmed they are talking to two persons of interest in connection with the alleged attack on the “Empire” actor.

Here’s the interesting part. Multiple sources say police are investigating whether Smollett and the two men staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of “Empire.”

Yes, you read that right. It sounds crazy, but that’s what police are saying.

ABC7 in Chicago says Smollett failed to appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday, but police confirm that they are continuing to treat Smollett as a victim and the investigation remains ongoing.

Meanwhile, Smollett released a statement Thursday evening, saying:

“Today Jussie did answer routine followup questions for Chicago Police Department and continues to cooperate.”

And as far as Smollett being written off of “Empire,” the actor’s rep denied the report.

Even Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment released a statement saying the actor wasn’t being written off.

“The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of EMPIRE is patently ridiculous. He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”

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Jussie Smollett - GMA-attack1

Here’s more via ABC7:

A source briefed on the Smollett investigation confirmed to ABC News that Chicago police are questioning the two persons of interest — one of whom has appeared on “Empire.”

The law enforcement official also told ABC News that the homes of the persons of interest were raided Wednesday night. Police removed shoes, electronic devices and other items they believe could help them determine if the two people played any role in the assault.

Chicago police said they “cannot confirm any of those reports.” No charges have been filed.

Earlier, police said the two persons of interest are not suspects and have not been charged. Investigators are only talking with them at this time. The two were picked up Wednesday night at O’Hare International Airport, police said.

Smollett said he was attacked around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29 in the 300-block of East North Water Street in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. He told police two masked men shouted homophobic slurs at him, attacked him, put a rope around his neck and poured a liquid on him that smelled like bleach.

Smollett, 36, is black and openly gay.

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