Reports that an alleged attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett was staged are “unconfirmed”, police have said.
The actor is alleged to have been beaten in a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago last month.
On Thursday, reports in the city suggested Smollett may have staged the incident along with two men after he feared he was being written out of musical drama Empire.
However, detectives have issued a statement denying this is the case. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said: “Media reports about 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.”
Fox, the network which produces Empire, released a statement to say Smollett was “core” to the show and was not being written out.
Smollett, who is black and came out as gay in 2015, is alleged to have been attacked by men who shouted homophobic and racist abuse in Chicago on January 29.
The 36-year-old made a tearful appearance on Good Morning America this week and said he had been “forever changed” by the alleged attack.
He said: “I will never be the man who this didn’t happen to.
“I am forever changed and I don’t subscribe to the idea that everything happens for a reason, but I do subscribe to the idea that we have the right and responsibility to make something meaningful out of the things that happen to us, good and bad.”
Asked what message he wanted to send by speaking about the attack, he replied: “I want young people, young members of the LGTBQ community, young black children, to know how strong they are, to know the power they hold in their little pinky.”
Smollett has starred in Fox’s musical drama Empire since 2015. He plays Jamal, the gay son of a music mogul, played by Terrence Howard.
No arrests have been made in connection with the alleged attack.