New developments continue to unfold in the Jussie Smollett case.
The two men who were arrested by Chicago Police earlier this week in regards to the “Empire” actor‘s alleged attack have now been released without charges. Anthony Guglielmi, Chief Communications Officer for Chicago Police, took to Twitter on Friday night to share the update.
“Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the ‘Empire’ case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” the statement reads. The news comes hours after Guglielmi announced there would be no press conference about the case.
Chicago Police confirmed to ET on Friday morning that the two men who have been questioned by police since earlier this week were arrested Wednesday night. A spokesperson for Chicago Police confirmed to ET that it was the same two individuals who were captured on surveillance video around the same time as the alleged attack on the “Empire” star in the early morning hours of Jan. 29. Police have yet to release the names of these men.
“Interrogations will resume today with the two individuals and their attorney. While we haven’t found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is no evidence to say that this is a hoax. The alleged victim [Smollett] is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect,” Guglielmi told ET earlier in the day. “For clarification, the two individuals interviewed are classified as potential suspects. Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues.”
Meanwhile, ET has confirmed that Smollett has hired high-powered Chicago criminal defence attorney Michael Monico, who is now representing the star.
Monico is best known as one of the defence attorneys representing President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and alleged “fixer” Michael Cohen; no reason was provided as to why Smollett, the victim of the alleged attack, would require the services of a criminal defence lawyer.
On Thursday, police once again questioned Smollett, as well as raided the home of the two aforementioned men.
Local Chicago media reports claim that Smollett is being investigated for potentially orchestrating his own attack.
There were also reports earlier this week that the actor might have staged the attack, thinking he might have been being written off “Empire”. However, the network and studio released a statement to ET denying Smollett’s character was being dropped from the show.
“The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of ‘Empire’ is patently ridiculous,” the joint statement read. “He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”
This all comes after Smollett made his first television appearance since the attack, appearing on “Good Morning America” to tearfully recount the incident.
For more on the ongoing investigation, as well as Smollett’s interview, watch below.