Robin Roberts Addresses Smollett Interview: At the Time, Police Called His Account ‘Credible’

ABC’s Robin Roberts addressed her interview with Jussie Smollett on Good Morning America Monday, amidst reports that police believe the attack the Empire actor reported last month may have been a hoax.

When Roberts interviewed Smollett about the alleged attack on GMA last week, the actor said he was “pissed off” by those doubting his story that two supporters of President Donald Trump attacked him late at night in Chicago, hurling racist and homophobic slurs and tying a rope around his neck.

“When I sat down with Jussie it was Tuesday night in Chicago, at the time to give his first account, publicly give his first account of what he said happened,” Roberts said Monday. “And we have to remember, at that time, on Tuesday, police officers were saying that his account was consistent, it was credible, and that he was being cooperative. This was all before the interview aired on Thursday, and then we found out about the brothers.”

According to multiple reports, police later questioned and released two suspects, brothers both known to Smollett, who said they were paid by the actor to take part in the hoax.

“The police often say something publicly but behind the scenes, Dan, it’s totally different,” Roberts said to ABC chief legal analyst and Mediaite founder Dan Abrams.

“Absolutely,” Abrams replied. “They wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. You don’t want to go out and publicly start questioning someone who talks about a horrific attack like this until you’ve got the goods.”

Watch above, via ABC.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Managing Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin