One of the men interviewed by police in connection with an attack on Jussie Smollett has appeared on 'Empire'.
The 36-year-old actor was subjected to a "possible hate crime" last month when two assailants allegedly hurled homophobic abuse before punching him, pouring an unknown chemical substance over him and putting a rope around his neck, and Chicago Police revealed on Thursday, February 14, they had questioned two brothers over the alleged incident.
Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told the New York Times newspaper the two are currently not considered suspects but confirmed their homes had been searched earlier in the week.
He did not know which role the man had played on the Fox TV show.
Gloria Schmidt, an attorney for the two men, claimed they were "baffled" as to why they had been brought into the investigation.
She told CBS Chicago: "They do know Jussie. They have worked with him on 'Empire'.
"My preliminary investigations show that on set it's very tight. They're all very cordial with each other, so they're baffled why they are people of interest."
Meanwhile, Jussie opened up about the attack on 'Good Morning America' on Thursday, February 14, and admitted it had all happened "so fast" while he was out getting food but he didn't realise he had a noose around his neck or had a substance, possibly bleach, poured on him until afterwards.
He told Robin Roberts: "I went to the Subway, got my order.
"During that time I texted my manager, thinking that he was still in Australia... I said, 'Call me when you can.' He called me immediately and while he was on the phone, I heard as I was crossing the intersection, 'Empire!' And I don't answer to Empire, my name ain't Empire.
"And I didn't answer, I kept walking, and then I heard, "f***ing 'Empire' n****r.' So I turned around and I said, 'What the f**k did you just say to me?' And I see the attacker, masked, and he said, 'This MAGA country, n****r,' and he punched me right in the face. So I punched his ass back and then we started tussling
"There was a second person involved who was kicking me in my back and then it just stopped and they ran off.
"It happened so fast. It felt like minutes but it was probably 30 seconds."
Jussie also expressed his fury that people have dismissed his account as a hoax.
He said: "It became a thing of like, 'Oh, It's not necessarily that you don't believe that this is the truth, you don't even want to see 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. A lot more. And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country."
The 'Alien: Covenant' actor admitted he didn't immediately call police because he didn't want to be thought of as "weak".
He said: "There's a level of pride there. We live in a society where as a gay man you are considered somehow to be weak and I'm not weak. I am not weak. And we, as [LGBTQ] people, are not weak."