Jussie Smollett’s manager told an emergency operator that the actor had been “jumped” in a “pretty f----- up” attack yet had to be convinced to file a report with police, according to audio of 911 calls released Wednesday from the night Smollett claimed he was the victim of a violent hate crime in downtown Chicago.
“I just need the police to come by. I work for an artist, I don’t really want to say his name, but he states ... he went to Subway, he was walking by and some guys, I don’t know, they jumped him or something like that, and I just want to report it and make sure he’s all right,” Smollett’s manager tells the 911 operator in the more than 7 minutes of audio released to the Chicago Sun-Times by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, which runs the city’s 911 system.
“OK, so we’re just checking the well-being,” the operator responds.
“Yeah,” the manager says.
The manager, previously identified by Smollett as Frank Gatson, also tells the operator that Smollett’s alleged attackers “put a noose around his neck.”
“What’s really weird ma’m, just ‘cus I’m scared and I don’t know what it is, they put a noose around his neck,” the caller says. There’s six seconds of silence before he continues: “They didn’t do anything, but they put it around his neck. That’s pretty f----- up, sorry for saying it like that.”
Later, the caller, whose name is redacted in the audio clip using a beep sound, tells the operator that Smollett is shaken up but does not want to report the attack to police.
“He didn’t want me to call you guys, but I felt like he needs to make a report,” the manager says.
The operator responds: “OK, you can’t make the report for him. Did he want to make a report?”
“That’s what I’m doing, he’s definitely going to make the report. I’m going to make him make the report,” the manager says.
After taking more information about the alleged victim and crime, the operator asks at the end of the call: “And this is a well-known person?”
“Yes, it is.”
In a follow-up call just over 15 minutes after the first one, the caller tells the 911 operator that the police haven’t yet shown up. Smollett’s manager then spends the next few minutes explaining to the operator where the entrance to the condo building is located.
The incident has been under the microscope since it was reported Jan. 29. Smollett eventually was charged with disorderly conduct after Chicago police accused him of staging a hate crime.
The charges against Smollett came the week after a pair of brothers, both of whom had been extras on “Empire,” were detained and interrogated about the attack. The brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, told detectives that Smollett orchestrated the attack and enlisted them to carry it out, police said.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has faced backlash since her office dropped the charges against Smollett in March, citing his nonexistent criminal history, the forfeiture of his $10,000 bond and his performing of community service.