On Monday, the Chicago Police Department released surveillance footage that was taken shortly after the alleged attack against Empire star Jussie Smollett that occurred in the early morning of January 29. Amid the nearly 70 hours of surveillance footage, a police body-camera shows authorities entering the actor’s apartment and finding Smollett with a noose around his neck.
In the video, Smollett tells the officers that he kept the noose around his neck because he “just wanted you all to see it.” Soon afterward, Smollett realized that he was being filmed by a CPD body-cam and requested for it to be turned off. “I don’t want to be filmed,” Smollett told the CPD officers who arrived at the scene.
Smollett’s manager can be heard talking to police, telling officers that the actor was upset that attackers would place a rope (formed in the shape of a noose) around his neck. Another video shows Smollett’s alleged attackers, brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, being arrested as soon as they returned from Nigeria.
The tactically released video arrives after a state judge on Friday recommended that a special prosecutor investigate the Smollett case. Although Smollett was initially met with public sympathy for what was perceived to be a racist and homophobic attack, Cook County prosecutors accused Smollett of filing a false police report. Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report, which were all dropped in late March.
Although his record was wiped clean, Smollett is still being pursued by the City of Chicago in a civil suit for $130,000 in overtime costs from the investigation. There is also a defamation lawsuit against some members of Smollett’s legal team by brothers Ola and Osundairo. Chicago police claim that Ola and Abel were paid to plan and carry out the alleged assault on that January morning by Smollett himself.
In April, Fox Entertainment announced that Smollett would not appear on season six of Empire, which will be the series’ last season. In a statement, Empire creator Daniels called the ordeal “a roller coaster.”
Watch the footage below from Inside Edition.