Nearly two weeks since he reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Streeterville, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett turned over “limited and redacted” phone records to Chicago Police.
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed that Smollett handed over portions of his call log from the early hours of Jan. 29. That call log will be analyzed and detectives may be in contact with Smollett again should they have more questions.
Smollett has told police that he was walking in the 300 block of East North Water Street about 2 a.m. when two people walked up to him, yelled the slurs, hit him in the face, poured a substance — suspected to be bleach — on him and put a “thin, light rope” around his neck.
Smollett initially was “reluctant” to call police because of the attention he would generate as a public figure, Guglielmi previously said. But his manager eventually called at 2:42 a.m., about 40 minutes after the attack.
The actor said he was on the phone with his manager at the time of the attack. His manager has said that he could hear the attack over the phone and was able to hear the phrase “MAGA country” — the acronym from President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
With the exception of a handful of precincts on the Northwest and Southwest sides, Chicago overwhelming supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. During the campaign, a Trump rally at UIC was cancelled after widespread protests, with fights breaking out afterwards.
Internet sleuths have cast aspersions on Smollett’s story since it was first reported, and an incomplete phone log may do little, if anything, to quell those doubts.
“I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” Smollett said in a previously released statement. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said earlier this month that Smollett has been cooperative with detectives, and that the department is making progress in its investigation.
“We have no reason to think he’s not being genuine with us,” Johnson said. “The allegations that are described to us are horrendous, horrible and quite frankly cowardly. He is a victim, and we treat him like a victim.”
The New York Post has dispatched several reporters to Chicago to retrace Smollett’s steps in the minutes before the alleged attack. Last week, one of them discovered a hot sauce bottle that smelled like bleach near where Smollett said he was attacked.
The bottle was turned over to Chicago Police for analysis. Investigators have already conducted several canvasses of the area and Guglielmi on Monday said it was not clear if the bottle was “connected or not connected” to the alleged attack.