Chicago police said Tuesday that they are now discounting a tip claiming that "Empire" star Jussie Smollett was seen with two brothers who were arrested and later released without charge in the night of an alleged attack against the actor.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday afternoon that the tip was determined to be not credible after interviewing the person who made it, and that the claim was not supported by video evidence.
"CPD has confirmed that as it was not supported by video evidence obtained by detectives," Guglielmi tweeted.
Smollett, 36, who is black and gay, reported to police that he was attacked on Jan. 29 by two masked men who hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him and looped a rope around his neck.
Two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, were arrested and interviewed in connection to the case last week, but were released Friday without charges and are not suspects, police have said.
After interviewing and releasing the brothers from custody last week, police announced that the "investigation had shifted." Police have requested another interview with Smollett.
Another police spokesman, Tom Ahern, tweeted Tuesday that the brothers met with police and prosecutors at a criminal court building on Tuesday.
In another development Tuesday, Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx recused herself from the case, NBC Chicago reported. Another prosecutor in her office will handle it.
A spokesperson for Foxx's office said in an email that, "Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case."
Attorneys for Smollett have strongly denied suggestions that the attack may have been made up or that he was complicit, and have said that the actor was the victim of a hate crime and has been cooperating with police.
"He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack," Smollett's attorneys, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, said in a statement Saturday.
In an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday, Smollett said he was upset that some people questioned whether the attack occurred.
He said in the ABC interview that a masked attacker used a racial slur and then said "this MAGA country," which is short for "Make America Great Again," the slogan of President Donald Trump, followed by a racial slur and that he was punched in the face and punched back and there was a scuffle, and a second person involved kicked him.
"It's like, you know, at first, it was a thing of, like, 'Listen, if I tell the truth then that's it, 'cause it's the truth,'" Smollett said. "Then it became a thing of like, 'Oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you — how do you not believe that? It's the truth.'"
"It feels like if I had said it was a Muslim or a Mexican or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot much more, and that says a lot about the place we are in our country right now," he said.