"I believe Mr. Smollett wanted it on camera", police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters at a Thursday morning news conference. Police now say Smollett mailed the letter to himself and orchestrated the attack.
'We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have made a decision to remove the role of Jamal from the final two episodes of the season'. (AAP ) Producers said they are removing his character from the scene to "avoid further disruption on set".
Actor Jussie Smollett paid two brothers to stage a racist and homophobic attack on him and pose as supporters of President Donald Trump because he was unhappy with his pay on the hip-hop TV drama "Empire", Chicago's police chief said on Thursday.
"After we spoke to the former suspects last night, detectives reached out to Jussie Smollett's attorneys and expressed interest that we need to talk to him again", said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department, confirming that the brothers are no longer suspects.
The initial incident saw police take a report that Smollett had been approached by two people who allegedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs and shouted about "MAGA country" in his direction. Many of those who reacted initially have declined to respond to the update, while others have said it didn't matter that Smollett appeared to make up claims of an attack.
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February 15 - Chicago police said they arrested two Nigerian brothers in connection with the alleged assault. By Friday evening, both brothers were released without charges.
20th Century Fox Television, which airs "Empire" and on Wednesday said that Smollett "continues to be a consummate professional on set", on Thursday said in a statement, "We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options".
A statement from Smolletts defence reads: "Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system".
Johnson called for Smollett to apologise to the city and said he was anxious that real victims might now be reluctant to come forward. The studio declined to comment on the actor's salary.
"@JussieSmollett - what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and unsafe comments!? #MAGA", Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday.