Chicago police can't find any video of attack on Empire actor

Jussie Smollett Gabourey Sidibe Empire

The Chicago PD and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are jointly working the case, in which Smollett was reportedly attacked by two ski-mask-wearing men (who placed a noose around his neck) yelling homophobic and racial slurs.

Smollett and his manager, Brandon Moore, told authorities they were speaking on the phone with each other at the time of the attack, police said.

He said they are expanding the search to include footage from public buses and buildings beyond the scene's immediate vicinity in the hopes of spotting the men who match Smollett's description of the suspects.

Out TV star Smollett, who plays a high-profile gay character on Fox show Empire, was hospitalised after the violent incident, in which he was reportedly branded a "faggot Empire n****r" and had a noose tied around his neck by two men.

This development comes on the heels of a series of questions regarding the attack on the actor on the streets of Chicago early Tuesday morning.

Smollett returned to his apartment afterward and his manager called police from there about 40 minutes later, Guglielmi said. "We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive", the statement continued.

Police are gathering and reviewing video from scores of surveillance cameras in the area.

"The Streeterville neighborhood where the alleged attack occurred has a very high density of city and private surveillance cameras", Guglielmi said on Wednesday. "We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice". The 36-year-old actor was subsequently hospitalized and released, local authorities said. Smollett later went to a hospital for treatment.

Smollett has starred on Fox's "Empire" since 2015.

On Thursday afternoon, when asked about the Smollett attack, President Trump said it was "horrible" and "Doesn't get worse, as far as I'm concerned".

A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department told ET earlier this week that Smollett told detectives late Tuesday afternoon in a follow-up interview that his two attackers yelled, "MAGA country" to him during the attack, referring to Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan. The men wore ski masks and according to Smollett said, "Aren't you that f-t "Empire" N-word?" and yelled "This is MAGA country" and began beating him while continuing their vile tirade.

Police are in possession of the rope and the sweater Smollett was wearing on the night of the attack and are testing the substance, according to Guglielmi.

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