[UPDATE: As of 7:34 p.m. ET Thursday, Chicago P.D. Chief Communications Officer, Anthony Gugliemli reports that the Smollett incident as being a "hoax" is "unconfirmed by case detectives." FOX Networks also issued a statement as well, stating Smollett was not "being written out of the show."]
Empire actor, Jussie Smollet's alleged hate crime that took place at the end of last month is reportedly being investigated as a "possible set-up."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, several media outlets are reporting that those allegedly involved in Smollett's case are being investigated with police, who are now looking into an alternate theory in the attack and how it was "potentially staged."
"Multiple sources tell [ABC Chicago] Eyewitness News Jussie Smollet and the 2 men who are being questioned by police staged the attack - allegedly because his character was being written out of the show Empire," the network's reporter Rob Elgas tweeted.
BREAKING: Multiple soucres tell @ABC7Chicago Eyewitness News Jussie Smollet and the 2 men who are being questioned by police staged the attack - allegedly because his character was being written out of the show Empire.— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) February 15, 2019
According Variety, law enforcement spent much of Thursday interviewing two persons of interest in the case, who are believed to have been seen on surveillance images on the night of the attack.
The new information comes on the heels of a report from CBS Chicago that alleges police "raided the home of two persons of interest" on Wednesday night, with the outlet revealing that the men were of "Nigerian descent" and apparently "extras" on the show.
Another CBS Chicago reporter, Charles De Mar took to Twitter on Thursday night, shortly before the report was released to the media that claims he "asked family why they think police picked the two brothers up for questioning and they replied by saying the men left for [Nigeria] the day of the attack," according to THR.
However as of 7:34 p.m. ET on Thursday, Chicago P.D. Chief Communications Officer, Anthony Gugliemli reports that the Smollett incident as being a "hoax" is "unconfirmed by case detectives."
Media reports anout the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate. pic.twitter.com/iSO5YFv452— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 15, 2019
"Media reports about the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted by [ABC Chicago] to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate," Guglielmi wrote.
The information comes after Chicago police on Thursday announced they had identified and were questioning two persons of interest in the attack, which Smollett said occurred in the early morning hours of Jan. 29 by two men who yelled racist and homophobic language before and during his brutal attack.
"The people of interest are alleged to be in the area where a crime was reported," Chicago police spokesman Guglielmi said Thursday. "They are not considered suspects at this time as they are currently being questioned by detectives. We remain in communication with the alleged victim."
During a sitdown with Good Morning America on Thursday, Smollett addressed the conversation about the incident, and revealed how he fought back against the attackers.
"For me, the main thing was the idea that I somehow switched up my story, you know? And that somehow maybe I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing," Smollett said. "I didn't need to add anything like that. They called me a f—, they called me a n—. There's no which way you cut it. I don't need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of some racist sundae."0comments
Shortly after the reports, FOX issued its own statement, and voiced their support to Smollett that the attack was not staged.
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