Two suspects have been arrested in connection to an attack reported by “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, Chicago Police Department said Friday.
The men arrested were the same men that police previously said were being viewed as “potential suspects,” according to Tom Ahern, Chicago police communications deputy director.
They have not been charged.
Earlier Friday, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said two Nigerian brothers were being treated as “potential suspects” and that detectives had “probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime.”
Police did not say at that time precisely what the brothers were accused of or what the alleged crime might have been.
Smollett, one of the stars of “Empire,” told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who lobbed “racial and homophobic slurs” at him.
After a brief struggle, both men ran away, and Smollett told police that one attacker had allegedly put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
“Interrogations will resume today with the two individuals and their attorney,” Guglielmi said in Friday’s statement. “While we haven’t found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is also no evidence to say that this is a hoax.”
“The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect,” he added.
Police said Thursday they were questioning the two men after meeting them at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, but they were not considered suspects at that time. Their apartment was searched by police earlier this week.
One of the brothers has appeared on the show “Empire,” according to police.
Authorities previously released surveillance images of two silhouetted figures in the area of the attack, who they said were wanted for questioning.
Smollett shared his detailed account of the alleged attack in a Thursday morning interview on “Good Morning America,” in which he rejected reports that he said he told police the attackers wore Make America Great Again hats.
“I never said that,” he said. “I didn’t need to add anything like that. They called me a f****t, they called me a n****r. There’s no which way you cut it. I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on some racist sundae.”
Update: This is a developing story and will continue to update.