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Video of Jussie Smollett With Rope Around His Neck Released by Chicago Police

Variety logo Variety 6/24/2019 Alex Stedman
Jussie Smollett wearing a suit and tie © Paul Beaty/AP

The Chicago Police Department released new surveillance footage and files in regards to the Jussie Smollett hoax case on Monday, including one that shows the “Empire” actor shortly after the alleged attack.

In one of the videos, police body-cam footage shows authorities entering Smollett’s Chicago apartment, led by his manager, Frank Gatson. Smollett is found by the officers with ropes strung around his neck, which he says were put on by the attackers. When officers ask him if he wants to take the rope off his neck, he does, but says he “just wanted you all to see it.”

“There’s bleach on me, they poured bleach on me,” Smollett adds.

The police inform him that they’re recording, to which Smollett responds, “I don’t want to be filmed,” and the officers agree to turn off the cameras.

Smollett claimed to have been assaulted by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him on Jan. 29. The police later concluded that he had hired two men, Abel and Ola Osundairo, to carry out the attack. Smollett continues to deny that the event was staged.

He was indicted on 16 counts of filing a false police report, but the charges were later dropped in exchange for a $10,000 bond.

That decision met with immediate backlash, as State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was accused of cutting a sweetheart deal for the actor. Last week, a judge ordered the appointment of a special counsel to reexamine the case, with the option of filing fresh charges against the actor.

The city of Chicago is also pursuing Smollett in civil court to recoup the $130,000 overtime cost stemming from the investigation.

 

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