2 men released after detainment in Jussie Smollett case

Police have released the men, who were arrested and questioned about the alleged assault of the "Empire" actor.
2:43 | 02/16/19

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Transcript for 2 men released after detainment in Jussie Smollett case
Not far from Aurora in Chicago this morning, there are new developments in another case, the alleged attack on "Empire" star jussie smollett. Police have now released two men who were arrested and questioned about that incident. ABC's erielle reshef joins us now with the latest. Good morning, erielle. Reporter: Good morning to you, Eva. It's a major in this investigation. Police tell ABC news they have released the only two persons of interest so far identified in this case after new evidence surfaced during their interrogation. Overnight Chicago police confirming the men in this shadowy surveillance image at the center of the investigation into the alleged attack on "Empire" actor jussie smollett are no longer considered suspects. The two taken into custody after landing at o'hare airport from Nigeria questioned and later released as police say new evidence came to light. New evidence that was brought to their attention. Obviously I had it. Obviously my clients had it but I think it took a matter of coordination. Orter: Authorities say the pair, U.S. Citizens of Nigerian descent, have a relationship with smollett. At least one of them appearing as an actor on "Empire." Investigators raiding the men's home taking shoes, electronic devices and other items that could be related to the case. Their release coming weeks after smollett reported he was targeted by two men in a violent homophobic assault in a Chicago alley. Smollett telling our robin Roberts earlier this week he was sure the people in the video were his attackers. There is no doubt in your mind what motivated this attack? I could only go off of their words. I mean, who says , "Empire," , this Maga country, ties a noose around your neck and pours bleach on you. Reporter: The actor lambasting those casting doubt on his account. I'm pissed off. It'se, you know at first it was a thing of like, listen, if I tell the truth, then that's it because it's the truth. Reporter: Admitting he refused to give up his phone to investigators. They wanted me to give my phone to the tech for three to four hours. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do that. Why? Because I have private pictures and videos and numbers. Reporter: But stressing emphatically he's been cooperating with police. Now, the attorney for the two men says they're baffled by their lengthy interrogation and have maintained their innocence throughout. Police say detectives have additional investigative work to complete. So many people interested in this case, so we're waiting to hear. A lot of people eager for answers. For sure. Difficult story. Erielle, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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