The Latest: Smollett says no truth he played role in attack

FILE - In this May 14, 2018 file photo, Jussie Smollett, a cast member in the TV series "Empire," attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation afterparty in New York. Smollett is expressing anger over being attacked outside his Chicago apartment last month. Smollett, who plays a musician on the Fox Network's ''Empire'' talked about his ordeal during an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts to be broadcast Thursday on "Good Morning America." He alleges he was the victim of an attack on Jan. 29 by two masked men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. Chicago police say they're interviewing two "persons of interest" who surveillance photos show were in the downtown area where Smollett says he was attacked last month. A police spokesman said Thursday the two men aren't considered suspects but may have been in the area at the time Smollett says he was attacked. Smollett says two masked men shouted racial and homophobic slurs before beating him and putting a rope around his neck on Jan. 29. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
This Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 photo shows an apartment that was searched by police in connection with an investigation of an attack on actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago. Two men characterized by police as "persons of interest" in the attack against Smollett are now considered suspects and have been arrested on "probable cause that they may have committed a crime," a Chicago police spokesman said Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed that a search warrant was executed at the Chicago apartment where the men lived but did not have any information about what exactly what police found. (Nader Issa/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

CHICAGO — The Latest on the investigation of the attack on Jussie Smollett (all times local):

11 p.m.

Attorneys for Jussie Smollett say there is no truth to reports that the "Empire" actor played a role in an assault on him last month by what he described as two men shouting homophobic and racial slurs.

In a statement late Saturday the lawyers say: "Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."

His lawyers say that Smollett will continue to cooperate with a Chicago police investigation into the reported attack.

Chicago police earlier Saturday said their investigation of the attack had "shifted" following the interrogation of two men. The brothers from Nigeria were first considered suspects, but then released from police custody Friday without being charged.

Smollett's attorneys say that one of the men was the actor's personal trainer, hired to prepare him physically for a music video.

___

7 p.m.

Chicago police say "the trajectory of the investigation" into the reported attack on Jussie Smollett has shifted and they want to conduct another interview with the "Empire" actor.

Chicago police late Friday released without charges two Nigerian brothers they had detained for questioning earlier in the week.

On Saturday, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told CBS Chicago: "We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We've reached out to the Empire cast member's attorney to request a follow-up interview."

Smollett, who is black and gay, has said he was attacked by two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and "This is MAGA country!" He said they looped a rope around his neck before running away as he was out getting food at a Subway restaurant early on Jan. 29. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him.

Police have been unable to find surveillance video of the attack.

A spokeswoman for Smollett did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Guglielmi's comment.

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See AP's complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case: https://www.apnews.com/JussieSmollett

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