Jussie Smollett Has Turned Himself In After Being Charged With Filing A False Report Of His Alleged Attack
Smollett claimed he was the victim of a homophobic, racist attack in late January.
Update: Jussie Smollett has turned himself in after being charged with filing a false police report about his alleged attack last month.
The Empire actor said that two masked men attacked him in Chicago on January 29, shouting racist and homophobic slurs before pouring a ‘chemical substance’ on him and looping a rope around his neck.
Since then, doubt has been cast on Smollett’s version of events – and last night, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that the actor has been charged with ‘disorderly conduct/filing a false police report’. If convicted, he faces one to three years in prison.
Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest. pic.twitter.com/LvBSYE2kVj
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
The Associated Press is now saying that Smollett has turned himself in to police:
BREAKING: Chicago police spokesman: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett turns self in on accusation of making false police report.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 21, 2019
Whispers that the attack had been faked began after detectives reportedly looked through hours of surveillance footage from the area, but could find no videos of the incident.
There were claims that Smollett may have paid two Nigerian brothers to stage the beating – the brothers were arrested after CCTV appeared to show them buying ski masks, which the actor said had been worn by his attackers.
Police questioned the men but released them without charge, saying that the information they received “shifted the trajectory of the investigation”. The BBC reports that one of the men is Smollett’s personal trainer, and both have worked as extras on Empire.
Smollett’s lawyers have said that they will “conduct a thorough investigation and mount an aggressive defence” against the charge.
“Like any other citizen, Mr Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked,” they said in a statement.
The makers of Empire have said that Smollett’s character is not being written off the series, and that he “continues to be a consummate professional on set”.
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