'Empire' star Jussie Smollett, who says he was attacked by two men using racist and homophobic slurs, received a show of support from the Fox network and the studio that produces the drama series. (Photo1
Thursday night "Empire" starred Jussie Smollett's claim that two attacked him on Jan. 29, the TV network and studio behind the Fox drama gave its full support to the actor and musician.
In addition, Chicago Police disputed a TV news report that cited multiple anonymous sources saying Smollett staged the attack because he was being written out of the show
Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television, which publishes the Chicago-based family drama, sent USA TODAY a statement Thursday in response to a question raised in a Chicago TV news report that multiple anonymous sources were saying Smollett staged the attack because he was written out of the show.
"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, ”the statement said.
During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, ' Empire 'actor Jussie Smollett gets emotional while talking about his reported attackers in Chicago.
In a tweet, Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer of the Chicago Police Department, disputed the tweet by a reporter from Chicago's ABC affiliate, which said sources were saying that Smollett and two men staged the attack and were being questioned by police. Guglielmi said the Chicago police superintendent was the news source that is "uninformed and inaccurate."
"Media reports (about) the Empire incident on a case are unconfirmed by case detectives. Johnson has contacted @ ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposedly CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate, "Guglielmi's tweet said.
The Chicago ABC reporter who tweeted the initial report of sources saying the attack was a hoax later tweeted that Johnson had called the station to say Smollett "is considered a victim and the police investigation."
Smollett's representative, Pamela Sharp, customs USA TODAY that the actor answered "routine follow-up questions "from Chicago police Thursday and" continues to cooperate. "
Earlier Thursday, ABC's" Good Morning America "aired portions of an interview Smollett's gift to anchor Robin Roberts. The actor, who is black and openly gay, recounted details of the attack, which included racist and homophobic slurs, and also said that doubting him is not the truth.
"It feels like I had it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I like the doubters would have supported me a lot more, and that says a lot about the place we are in our country right now, ”he said.
More of the Smollett-Roberts interview will be broadcast Friday morning (12:37 am EST / PST) on" Nightline, "along with any news updates on the police investigation, according to ABC News
Contributing: Cydney Henderson, Andrea Mandell, Erin Jensen
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