Citing anonymous sources familiar with the investigation, reporters for ABC and CBS affiliates in Chicago initially wrote that the racist and homophobic attack on Smollett in January was being investigated as a hoax perpetrated with the actor's involvement after he discovered he was to be written off the Fox drama.
However, the Chicago Police Department stated it has no evidence to support those media reports. "We have no evidence to support their reporting, and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate," wrote Chicago PD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi on Twitter.
In a statement to TV Guide, 20th Century Fox Television, which produces Empire, supported Smollett and said there were no plans to write him off the show: "The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of Empire is patently ridiculous. He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him."
A representative for Smollett told TV Guide Thursday evening that the actor is cooperating with the police investigation. In a statement to Essence earlier this month, Smollett said, "I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served. "
Empire airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.
Additional reporting by Lindsay MacDonald