Police have rejected cell phone records submitted by Jussie Smollett on Monday (Feb. 11), nearly two weeks after he was physically assaulted in Chicago on Jan. 29.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ that the phone records appeared "heavily redacted" and not credible evidence in Smollett's investigation. Sources told TMZ "the only solid, irrefutable evidence" would be his original phone bill, not a PDF file which can be manipulated. The source also confirmed an original download of his cell phone would also be admissible.
A representative for Smollett released a statement to the site saying, "Any redacted information was intended to protect the privacy of personal contacts or high-profile individuals not relevant to the attack."
The rep went on to note that Smollett turned over phone records "voluntarily" and "within an hour of the attack," contradicting the recent TMZ report that he turned them over on Monday. "Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie's account of what happened that night consistent and credible," the rep continued.
If you're wondering why Smollett's cell phone records are so important, it's because the "Empire" actor initially told police he was on the phone with his manager, Brandon Z. Moore, at the time of his assault. Smollett's manager also backed up the star's claims, telling officials he heard the attackers spew racial and homophobic slurs that night. Cell phone records would prove that the call was in fact made at the time of the alleged attack.
On Wednesday (Jan. 30), police released surveillance images of two persons of interest possibly connected Smollett's assault, but no arrest has been made as of yet. According to TMZ, police have also gathered surveillance footage from nearby stores in the area to see if anyone purchased rope that could have been used as a noose in the attack.
Officials also confirmed Smollett has been cooperative throughout the investigation, backing up his own statement he released on Feb. 1, saying, "I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level."