Jussie Smollett: New police bodycam footage shows actor with noose around neck | Ents & Arts News




New footage released by Chicago Police, filmed on a bodycam worn by the officer who responded to Smollett’s report, shows the Empire actor with a noose around his neck in his apartment.

Smollett reported in January that he was the victim of a homophobic and racist attack by two men in the street, but was later accused of staging the incident.

Charges were eventually dramatically dropped against Smollett, but Chicago officials want the actor to pay for the cost of the investigation, which cost $130,000 (£99,500).

In the new video footage, Frank Gaston, who is Smollett’s creative director, takes a police officer through an apartment, saying “Basically, he’s [Smollett] sensitive. like his pride is in the way.”

Smollett's creative director guides police to his apartment. Pic: Chicago Police
Image:
Smollett’s creative director guides police to his apartment. Pic: Chicago Police

“I just feel like anything like this happened to me, I would want to report it.”

Mr Gaston then adds: “And the thing that bothers me, kind of makes me emotional, is they put a makeshift, what do you call that thing? A noose around his f*****g neck. And that’s what bothered me.

“The cut thing doesn’t bother me, if that makes any sense.”

The police officer is then guided to the apartment where Smollett, whose face is blurred, is stood with a thin white noose around his neck.

The officer asks Smollet if he wants to take it off, to which the actor says yes.

Smollet also claims the attackers threw bleach on him before asking for the camera to be turned off.

The video is part of around 1,200 documents released on Monday surrounding the incident, which is facing growing scepticism in Chicago.

As part of the release, there is also an email from a sergeant that says she had received a tip that the attack was orchestrated by an unnamed person.

Despite the release of the case files, there is still yet to be any footage of the attack, due to the CCTV camera at the location of the incident being out of action that evening.

The two men who Smollett claimed carried out the attack fled to Nigeria the same day of the incident, but were later arrested when they returned to the US.

The pair admitted the attack was staged and took police to the spot where it took place.

They are suing the actor’s lawyers for defamation, claiming they had no role in “defrauding the police department.”

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