The Latest: Smollett’s lawyer: Men lied about staging attack
CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett (all times local):
Jussie Smollett’s attorney says two brothers who claim they worked with the “Empire” actor to stage a racist, anti-gay attack against him are lying.
Tina Glandian spoke with “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, a day after Chicago prosecutors abruptly dropped charges yet still insisted that Smollett lied to police about being attacked by two strangers on Jan. 29.
Glandian says Smollett, who is black and gay, had hired one brother as a personal trainer, and that they discussed training and nutrition in the hours before the attack as Smollett’s flight to Chicago was delayed. But she says Smollett had no idea who attacked him until the brothers were later identified by police.
She says Smollett is a crime victim and “just wants his life back.”
Prosecutors offered little explanation when dropping the case, a move that infuriated Chicago’s mayor and police chief.
Prosecutors still insist Jussie Smollett faked a racist, anti-gay attack on himself in the hopes that the attention would advance his acting career. The “Empire” star still says he was assaulted by two men late at night in downtown Chicago.
But with little explanation, authorities on Tuesday abruptly dropped all charges against Smollett. They abandoned the criminal case after only five weeks. In return, prosecutor say, the actor agreed to let the city keep his $10,000 in bail.
The dismissal drew a backlash from the mayor and police chief. It also raised the question of why Smollett was not forced to admit any wrongdoing.
Among those sure to keep pressing for answers is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He appeared blindsided by the decision and visibly angry. He called it “a whitewash.”