‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Must Resubmit Phone Records After First Attempt Is ‘Heavily Redacted’ Following Alleged Attack
Police want “Empire” star Jussie Smollett to resubmit his phone records after the first ones he turned in were a “heavily redacted” PDF of his call log.
Chicago Police department told Page Six on Tuesday, that the records the 36-year-old actor provided for the investigation into his alleged attack were “limited and redacted” and “insufficient for a criminal investigation.” (RELATED: Alec Baldwin Arrested For Alleged Assault)
“We need something a little more concrete and direct if we’re going to be able to say for a fact the conversation occurred,” Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told the outlet, in response to records that Smollett had provided 13 days after his alleged attack and in reference to a conversation the actor said he had with his manager during the alleged attack. (RELATED: Man Attacked At Cheesecake Factory For Wearing MAGA Hat Speaks Out)
“We don’t believe this is the case at all, but when anyone hands over a redacted and limited record like a PDF of a phone bill, for example, those records could be manipulated,” he added. “We don’t believe they are, but we have to be able to hold up to the standards of a criminal court … [the records] don’t meet the burden for a criminal investigation.”
Guglielmi continued, “He [Smollett] committed early on to getting those records and he followed through with that. He’s very much still considered a victim and the investigation continues.”
Chris Bastardi, a spokesperson for Smollett explained that the redacted records were “intended to protect the privacy of personal contacts or high-profile individuals not relevant to the attack.”
“Chicago Police have not told us that they are rejecting any records, nor have they expressed concerns about the records to us,” he added.
Guglielmi told the outlet, at the time of publication, he could not confirm if detectives had yet told Smollett the current records they provided were insufficient.
It all comes on the heels of reports that police were seeking “people of interest” after the “On Our Own” star told authorities he was attacked by masked men near his home in Chicago last month.
“The victim goes to Subway just after midnight and on his way back, he was attacked by two men,” Guglielmi stated. “They were masked and wearing black clothing. They called him an Empire … and they used a homophobic slur. They also used the N-word. They proceed to assault him, and they throw a chemical on him that may have been bleach, and put a rope around neck.”
Smollett told police at the time of the attack he was on the phone with his manager, Brandon Z. Moore. Moore told police he heard the racist and homophobic slurs, so police need the phone records to corroborate the two accounts of what allegedly occurred.