AceShowbiz - Chicago police officials have investigated and dismissed a tip suggesting actor Jussie Smollett was spotted at his apartment building with his alleged masked attackers just before they set about him outside.
A neighbour or someone visiting told cops they spotted the "Empire" star with the two brothers who were later arrested and released from custody in an elevator.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi has now revealed video evidence allowed investigators to determine the report was bogus.
Brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who were detained on Wednesday, February 13, met with prosecutors and police in a Chicago courthouse on Tuesday, but it is not clear what they discussed. They were named potential suspects on Thursday, a day before their sudden release without charge.
Over the weekend, police bosses revealed they wanted to re-interview Jussie about the incident, which took place on January 29, amid reports suggesting he may have been involved in his own beating. Guglielmi told the media that information the police had received from the brothers had "shifted the trajectory of the investigation".
Smollett claims two masked men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him as they attacked him, pouring a bleach-like liquid on him and tying a noose rope around his neck.
Smollett's lawyers have revealed their client feels "victimised" by claims he may have staged the attack.
"Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying," a statement from attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson reads.