Jussie Smollett arrested by Chicago police for allegedly lying about attack

Lawrence Kim
February 21, 2019

Jussie Smollett has been arrested and is in custody of detectives.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office approved felony criminal charges against Smollett for disorderly conduct and filing a false police report, Guglielmi said yesterday on Twitter.

Having been extras on Empire and a personal trainer to Smollett, the Osundairo brothers were picked up by the police on February 13 and questioned for 48 hours before being released without charges.

A CNN report cited prosecutors as saying that a bail hearing was expected for 1:30 p.m. Thursday. He said he had gone out to buy food and was on the phone to his manager when the men punched him, poured a chemical substance over him and put a noose around his neck.

The news came less than 24 hours after Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. Two men who were spotted on surveillance video and believed to be the men who allegedly attacked Jussie were located and taken into custody.

Tom Ahern, the Deputy Director of News Affairs and Communications for the Chicago Police Department, tweeted the news on Thursday morning. According to a Chicago PD spokesperson, speaking with them "shifted the trajectory of the investigation". However, later reports indicated he was friendly with the two alleged attackers, who were two Nigerian brothers that allegedly helped plan and stage the incident with them.

But doubts about Smollett's claim started with reports that he had not fully cooperated with police after telling authorities he was attacked.

Detectives were unable to find CCTV footage of the alleged attack, which Smollett said happened in central Chicago on 29 January as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop. "Detectives are now presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury". She added the brothers received money from Smollett but declined to say the amount or when it changed hands. "You don't need immunity when you have the truth", she said.

Smollett is represented by local attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson as well as high-profile Los Angeles-based lawyer Mark Geragos, who has represented celebrities like pop star Michael Jackson, R&B singer Chris Brown and actress Winona Ryder.

"He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack". Many politicians, including those who have announced 2020 runs for president, jumped to defend Smollett and called for stricter action on hate crimes.

Some have also questioned whether Smollett staged the attack to prevent himself from being written out of "Empire", a theory that 20th Century Fox and Fox Entertainment denied Wednesday in a statement that referred to the actor as "a consummate professional on set". The letter, addressed to Smollett, includes the word "MAGA" on the outside of the envelope in place of the return address.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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