Almost two weeks after “Empire” star Jussie Smollett claimed to have been a victim of a vicious homophobic hate crime are his neighbors coming forward with doubts on his story.
Chicago police have yet to identify any suspects while residents of Smollett’s Chicago neighborhood have skepticism about his claims.
“I don’t believe it happened the way he said it did,” said Agin Muhammad, who lives in the same swank high-rise near the Navy Pier as Smollett.
“I’ve been in this neighborhood five years. I don’t believe it, not around here … Half the people are gay and the other half are black.”
A patron at Lizzie McNeill’s Irish Pub, about a block from the scene of the alleged Jan. 29 incident, said Smollett’s story “doesn’t really make sense.”
lie,because Chicago is the most liberal city around,” said the man, who wouldn’t give his name. “They have cameras everywhere … Why can’t they find the attack?”
Cops said they found plenty of surveillance video, but none that captured the alleged crime. They also revealed on Sunday that Smollett has yet to turn over data from his cellphone to verify that he was on the phone with his music manager, Brandon Moore, when he was allegedly attacked.
Moore claims he heard Smollett’s assailants shout a “racial slur” and the words “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
“We have no reason to doubt the statements, but for a criminal investigation, we need to independently confirm the phone records,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. “We offered to take the phone to download the data and he expressed he couldn’t be without his phone for several hours.”
The 36-year-old TV star told cops he was confronted by two white men, one wearing a black mask, who hurled gay and racist epithets at him, calling him “’Empire’
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