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‘Empire’ actor: ‘Ridiculous’ he would lie about attack

The Associated Press
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Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
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)

CHICAGO — “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is responding to critics who question his report about being attacked in downtown Chicago last month.

Smollett told police two masked men shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him, attacked him and put a rope around his neck early on Jan. 29. The 36-year-old actor is black and openly gay.

Smollett tells ABC News it’s “ridiculous” to think he’d lie in his explanation for being outside at 2 a.m. in frigid Chicago weather.

He says he left the rope and clothes on when police arrived “because I wanted them to see.” He says accusations that the attack was a date gone bad are offensive.

No arrests have been made. Police say they’ve not found surveillance video that shows the attack but that the investigation is ongoing.