UPDATED 10:40 p.m. ET: The two men who were arrested in connection with the attack on Jussie Smollett have been released without charges after being in custody for 48 hours.
Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi made an announcement about the update on Twitter. "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," Guglielmi wrote.
Case 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. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy
See original story below.
Two men have been arrested in connection with the attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett, Chicago authorities said Friday. Furthermore, Chicago police are once more disputing reports that circulated Thursday purporting that the attack was staged.
"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," police spokesperson Anthony Guglielimi told the Los Angeles Times Friday.
The two men, thus far only described as "two Nigerian brothers," were first being questioned as potential persons of interest in the case. Now, they are being treated as possible suspects. The unidentified men were picked up Wednesday at the O'Hare International Airport and brought in for questioning. A search warrant was utilized on their property the following day. As of now, at least one of the men has been confirmed as having worked on Empire in some capacity. Previous reports suggested both men were extras on the series. At the time of this writing, the men had not been charged.
Per Guglielmi, investigators have found "no evidence" suggesting a hoax and clarified Friday that Smollett is cooperating in the investigation "as a victim, not a suspect."
Speaking with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America earlier this week, Smollett criticized those who were questioning his account. "It's not necessarily that you don't believe that this is the truth, you don't even want to see the truth," he said, later specifically remarking on criticism surrounding the alleged shouting of MAGA support during the attack.
"I didn't need to add anything like that," he said. "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."