Gabrielle Fonrouge, New York Daily Post, February 11, 2019
Nearly two weeks after “Empire” star Jussie Smollett claimed he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack, cops have yet to identify any suspects — and some people in his tony Chicago neighborhood are growing skeptical.
“I don’t believe it happened the way he said it did,” said Agin Muhammad, who lives in the same swank high-rise near the Navy Pier as Smollett.
“I’ve been in this neighborhood five years. I don’t believe it, not around here … Half the people are gay and the other half are black.”
Cops have said they found plenty of surveillance video, but none that captured the incident.
Meanwhile, Chicago police said Sunday that Smollett has yet to turn over data from his cellphone to verify that he was on the phone with his music manager, Brandon Moore, when he was allegedly attacked.
Moore has said he heard Smollett’s assailants shout a “racial slur” and the words “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
“We offered to take the phone to download the data and he expressed he couldn’t be without his phone for several hours.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has said that Smollett, 36, was being treated as a crime victim, but would be held accountable if cops learn he filed a false report.
Last week, The Post traced Smollett’s likely route to the underpass from a 24-hour Subway sandwich shop where he bought a tuna sandwich and a salad.
Near the foot of a stairwell to the Loews, The Post found an empty hot sauce bottle that was partially filled with a clear liquid that smelled like bleach.
The Post alerted police, who seized the bottle. Guglielmi said it was turned over to the FBI for analysis.
The FBI declined to comment.