Twitter | @CBSNews, Chicago Police Department

Chicago Police Release Video Showing Jussie Smollett With Noose Around His Neck

The Jussie Smollett story just keeps getting stranger. While it seemed like the bizarre saga came to a close when prosecutors declined to press charges against the Empire star, the latest developments have reignited speculation over just what happened.

This story began in January.

Wikimedia Commons | Dominick D

Smollett is probably best known for his role as Jamal Lyon in the Fox drama Empire, but also appeared in movies as a kid. In January, he shared a shocking story with Chicago police.

He said he'd been the victim of a hate crime.

YouTube | ABC News

He told investigators that two men wearing ski masks attacked him outside his Chicago apartment. Smollett, who's black and gay, said his attackers made references to Donald Trump, poured something on him and put a noose around his neck.

He wasn't seriously injured.

Unsplash | Martha Dominguez de Gouveia

Smollett said he was attacked with kicks and punches, but was able to fend off his assailants. He was checked out at Northwestern Memorial Hospital but was released a few hours later "in good condition."

Things took a turn.

YouTube | TMZ

Doubt was quickly cast on Smollett's story, particularly after his attackers were revealed to be extras on Empire. Prosecutors say that the brothers were paid by Smollett to stage the attack, and charged him with filing a false police report.

Smollett doubled down on his story.

YouTube | ABC News

In a tearful appearance on television, Smollett said he "wouldn't be my mother's son" if he'd made up the story. After being charged, he turned himself in to police and was taken into custody.

Suddenly, the charges were dropped.

YouTube | TODAY

The actor's defense team and prosecutors dropped the charges, which were fairly significant, for a light sentence: all would be forgiven if Smollett performed 16 hours of community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond.

The FBI got involved.

Wikimedia Commons

Shortly after the deal was reached in March, the FBI said they'd be performing an investigation on what prompted the move. After that, things were pretty quiet on the Smollett front for a few months.

Smollett's not out of the woods yet.

Wikimedia Commons | Daniel Schwen

Just last week, a judge announced he'd be appointing a special prosecutor to look into why the (regular) prosecutors declined to press charges. In the ruling, Judge Michael Toomin said the case was full of "unprecedented irregularities".

Things just got weirder.

Twitter | @CBSNews

This CBS tweet sums it up: in an info dump from police, a bunch of footage surrounding the incident has emerged. Perhaps the most shocking is bodycam video that shows police talking to Smollett — as he has a noose around his neck.

What do you think?

Wikimedia Commons | Sister Circle Live

You can watch the full video below. Does it show a man who's in shock following a horrific hate-fuelled attack, or someone who's trying to mislead police? Let us know in the comments!

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