UPDATE: ‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Hospitalized After Brutal Attack
“Empire” TV star Jussie Smollett who reported being attacked in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago early Tuesday by men who made racist and anti-gay comments while tying a rope around his neck and throwing bleach on him asked Chicago police officers to turn off their body cameras after they arrived to take his report, according to a Chicago Police Department source.
The 36-year-old Smollett told police that he was attacked near his friend’s high-rise apartment while walking to get food at the Subway restaurant, 521 North McClurg Court, around 2 a.m.
Crime victims sometimes ask the police to turn off their cameras when officers enter private residences, a police spokesperson said.
TMZ reported that Smollett didn’t want to be encumbered by an entourage of bodyguards when he wasn’t working, despite an offer by Fox a week before the brutal attack.
Sources close to the situation say security for the “Empire” cast was increased last week after Fox Studios, in Chicago, received that threatening, homophobic letter addressed to Smollett.
We’re told Fox made the call to beef up security for everyone on set and wanted to give Jussie additional protection around the clock, but he declined. Our sources say he made the decision to not have extra security during off-hours because it was an intrusive way of living.
In other developments via (Fox 32 Chicago news reporter Tiffany Smith):
• Smollett was still wearing the noose around his neck when police arrived at his friend’s apartment nearly 45 minutes after the attack, according to a police spokesperson. Police took the rope as evidence.
• Chicago police denied an ABC report that the FBI had taken over the investigation. The federal agency is looking into a separate incident in which a threat letter was mailed to Smollett in the past two weeks.
• Smollett was said to be reticent to file a police report even after police arrived.
• Police were summoned to an apartment in the 300 block of East North Water Street after a man who identified himself as a friend of Smollett’s called 911 and said that a “well-known” person had been assaulted and battered after leaving his apartment, and they wanted a report. The apartment building is directly across the street from…