Jussie Smollett tried his best to shed a tear during his first televised interview after he claimed he was attacked by 2 Trump supporters in Chicago on Jan. 29.
Smollett, 36, sat down with Robin Roberts for an interview on Good Morning America that will air Thursday morning on ABC affiliate stations (check your local listings).
In a sneak peek of the video, Smollett struggles to cry as he discusses the alleged racial, homophobic hate crime.
The Empire star claims he was attacked by 2 masked men who beat him, poured bleach on him and looped a clothesline around his neck while shouting “ni–er” and fa–ot” at him.
Chicago police assigned a dozen investigators to the case and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. But after poring over hundreds of hours of video footage, police were unable to locate a single frame that showed the attack.
Smollett’s behavior after the alleged attack quickly raised suspicions. He waited 45 minutes before calling 911, and when police arrived, he was still wearing the small rope looped around his neck. He also asked officers to turn off their body cams.
He initially claimed his rib was fractured, but during a performance at a ghey club a week later, he admitted he didn’t fracture his ribs.
But most suspicious was his refusal to turn over his phone records so police could confirm the timeline of his alleged attack.
Smollett turned over heavily redacted phone records to the police 2 weeks after they initially asked for them.
But investigators rejected the PDF file, saying the data was insufficient for their investigation. Investigators have asked the actor to either give them his phone or download the full contents of the phone to them.
Police sources on Twitter say investigators have quietly requested Smollett’s phone records from his wireless carrier.
As the walls close in on him, Smollett, who is openly homosexual, sat down with Roberts, who is openly lesbian, to plead his case in the court of public opinion.
An emotional Smollett told Roberts that he redacted (altered) his phone records to protect “personal contacts” or high-profile individuals not relevant to the alleged attack.
In a statement to the Daily Mail on Tuesday night, Smollett’s publicist insisted that “Jussie is the victim here, which has been stated by the Superintendent of Police. Jussie has voluntarily provided his phone records from within an hour of the attack and given multiple statements to police.
“We are continuing to work closely with the Chicago PD and remain confident that they will find Jussie’s attackers and bring them to justice.”
There also reports that FBI agents do not believe a Trump supporter sent a threatening letter to Smollett at the FOX studios in Chicago.
The consensus within the Chicago PD is that Smollett lied about the attack. Sources say investigators believe Smollett was attacked by a man (or men) he met on a homosexual dating app within an hour after he landed in Chicago.
Smollett is reportedly desperate to keep the truth from coming to light.