Empire actor Jussie Smollett is under arrest on a Class 4 felony charge of filing a false police report (disorderly conduct). He turned himself in and will appear in court today for a bond hearing. On January 29, 2019, Smollett reported to police that he has been jumped by two men wearing MAGA hats, had a noose placed around his neck and said that one of the men poured bleach on him. The story has taken many twists and turns that have led to Smollett’s arrest early Thursday morning.
Authorities with the Chicago Police Department will hold a briefing at 10 a.m. ET. Police say that Smollett turned himself in to authorities at 6 a.m. ET.
Jussie Smollett’s claims of being victimized in a racist and homophobic attack divided the nation and caused great controversy. Many politicians, including those who have announced 2020 runs for president, jumped to defend Smollett and called for stricter action on hate crimes.
President Donald Trump responded to the news that Jussie Smollett had been attacked in a hate crime by showing his support and condemning the alleged act.
Donald Trump stated the following after the news broke.
“That I can tell you is horrible. I’ve seen it, last night. I think that’s horrible. It doesn’t get worse, as far as I’m concerned.”
As the story continued to change, more people felt the need to apologize to President Trump and his supporters who stated from the beginning it was a hoax.
Press Briefing: Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives. At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court. pic.twitter.com/YonrLkc724
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) February 21, 2019
Over the weekend, reports surfaced that changed the course of the investigation. Two men who were spotted on surveillance video and believed to be the men who allegedly attacked Jussie were located and taken into custody. The most shocking news was that the men were two brothers from Nigeria and worked as extras on Empire.
According to Smollett’s original description of the nature of the attack, the men were presumed to be white supporters of President Trump.
It was then discovered that the men were giving up information to authorities and revealed that Smollett allegedly masterminded the attack and the trio even rehearsed the events before.
Jussie Smollett has stood by his account and his attorneys released a public statement on Smollett’s behalf.
“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. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”Advertisement
Stay tuned for Jussie Smollett’s bail hearing and first appearance.