Shifting Stories Cloud Claims of Alleged Hate Crime Attack Targeting 'Empire' Actor Jussie Smollett
The incendiary story of an alleged hate crime attack targeting Empire actor Jussie Smollett immediately went viral yesterday, with media reporting the attackers made racial and anti-gay comments while using President Trump's "MAGA" slogan during the 2 a.m. assault in downtown Chicago.
But conflicting versions of the incident from Smollett himself, and details reported by the media being outright contradicted by Chicago Police have raised questions about what actually happened.
Debra Heine noted on the PJ Media last night that police had found surveillance video of Smollett, but had not been able to find video of the alleged assailants.
The explosive details of the incident were initially broadcast by TMZ:
"Empire" star Jussie Smollett was brutally attacked by 2 men who beat him up, put his head in a noose and screamed, "This is MAGA country."
Sources directly connected to Jussie tell TMZ, the actor arrived in Chicago from New York late Monday, and at around 2 AM he was hungry and went to a Subway. We're told when shortly after he walked out on his way home, someone yelled, "Aren't you that f***ot 'Empire' n*****?"
The 2 men -- both white and wearing ski masks -- viciously attacked Jussie as he fought back, but they beat him badly and fractured a rib. They put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they yelled, "This is MAGA country."
Jussie took himself to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated. He was discharged later Tuesday morning.
The TMZ article now features a FaceTime screenshot of Smollett in the hospital taken by Empire creator Lee Daniels that Fields had initially posted online but then removed.
Chicago Police issued this initial statement: