Jussie Smollett Should Face 'Accountability to the Maximum' if Attack Was Staged, Says Al Sharpton

Reverend Al Sharpton called for those responsible for Jussie Smollett's assault to be held completely accountable for their horrendous actions, even if it was Smollett himself who orchestrated the violence.

Sharpton appeared on MSNBC's Politics Nation and condemned the altercation, in which Smollett was attacked by two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs. "I, among many others when hearing of the report, said that the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened, and the guilty should suffer the maximum," the civil rights activist said.

The 64-year-old added: "I still maintain that, and if it is that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetuate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the max."

Smollett was reportedly attacked in Chicago by two men wearing masks and red caps on the night of January 29. The Empire actor told police the men beat him with their fists, poured a chemical substance on him and put a noose-like rope around his neck. The attack has since been rumored to have possibly been staged and paid for by Smollett.

Police arrested two brothers in connection to the attack on Wednesday. However, following their interrogation they were released without any charges on Friday. Due to new evidence, the department said changed the direction of the investigation.

While Chicago police said it was in "no position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what's been officially released" in regards to the hoax claims, the department on Friday announced plans to conduct a follow-up interview with Smollett after hearing the testimonies of the two brothers.

While we are not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what's been unofficially released, there are some developments in this investigation and detectives have some follow-ups to complete which include speaking to the individual who reported the incident. pic.twitter.com/b9GgXbSUt9

— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 17, 2019

Smollett's attorneys said the 36-year-old actor had no intentions to speak with authorities again on Monday. "Smollett's attorney's will keep an active dialogue going with Chicago police on his behalf. We have no further comment today," the star's lawyers, Victor Henderson and Todd Pugh, said in a statement.

Smollett's attorneys denied claims the assault was staged. "As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," the actor's legal team said in a statement to CNN.

"He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying," the statement continued.