It’s been over four months since Jussie Smollett claimed he had been assaulted by Trump supporters on the streets of Chicago one late January night. Since then there have been untold twists and turns, with the now-former Empire actor maintaining his innocence even as evidence increasingly pointed towards a fabrication. This won’t help you take a stand: As per Deadline, Chicago PD has finally released audio of the 911 calls that started it all, which you can listen to above.
The call wasn’t made by Smollett himself, but by his manager, Frank Gaston. “I just need the police to come by. I work for an artist. I don’t really want to say his name,” a cool-yet-panicky Gaston says to the operator. “He states he went to Subway … and two guys —somebody jumped him or something like that. I just want to report it and make sure he’s alright.”
The first of two calls came at 2:22am, or roughly 20 minutes after the alleged attack. Gaston tells the operator Smollett didn’t want him to call the police, but that he would do it later. “I’m gonna make him make the report,” Gatson assured them. “I just think he’s startled. I’m scared and I don’t know what it is — They put a noose around his neck. They didn’t do anything with it, but put it around his neck. That’s pretty f–ked up to me — sorry for saying it like that.”
Technically it hasn’t been proven either way whether Smollett had staged the assault, though that may change: Last Friday, 2,000 documents related to the investigation were made public, after a Freedoms of Information Act request was filed by Chicago media outlets seeking to find out why the city’s police abruptly dropped the case in March.
In the meantime, some people seem to have decided Smollett is guilty, ranging from comics Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan to Empire honcho Lee Daniels, who revealed Tuesday that the actor would not be returning for Season 6 despite cast wishes to the contrary.