Jussie Smollett Has Been Charged With A Felony For Faking Racist Attack!
It was expected and now it is here. An Illinois Grand Jury has decided the evidence warranted Jussie Smollett be charged with a felony for filing false report claiming two men attacked him last month.
A Chicago Police Department spokesman tweeted that the charges had been handed down Wednesday night.
Anthony Guglielmi said charges were approved by the Cook County State’s Attorney Office and “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest.”
Smollett is not in custody at this time. Guglielmi told ABC News police are not actively looking for the actor because “this is not a violent crime,” but said “the longer this goes, the more we have to do what we have to do.”
According to the Cook County State Attorney’s office, Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday. Smollett is also scheduled to work Thursday on the Chicago set of “Empire.” According to a production source, as of Wednesday night there were no plans to change the show’s shooting schedule.
The “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. How conspiracy charges will enter in are still unknown.
I’ve been sayin’. Police are experts at seeing through lies. It’s easier for them to prove a lie than guilt. They knew right off something was fishy.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ there were red flags from the get-go, but his lawyers insist that he’s innocent and have vowed to “mount an aggressive defense.”
The FBI and US Postal Service are also investigating Smollett’s involvement in a threatening letter sent to himself.
On January 22, a letter containing racist and homophobic threats and a white powder that was determined to be aspirin was addressed to Smollett at the Chicago’s Cinespace Studios, where “Empire” is filmed.
“Empire” producers are reportedly weighing whether to suspend Jussie Smollett now that he’s been charged with filing a false police report.
Sources close to the show told Variety on Wednesday night that Fox began mulling over a possible punishment for Smollett after his racist attack story was officially denounced by Chicago authorities.
The network had been standing firmly behind the actor, issuing a statement earlier in the day that said he was still considered a “consummate professional on set” and wasn’t being “written out of the show,” despite reports saying otherwise.
Up until the charges, Smollett had been in complete denial of any involvement in the incidents whatsoever. His lawyers released a statement a few days ago:
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” began a statement from Smollett attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
On Jan. 29, Smollett told police that he was attacked by two men who poured an unknown chemical on him, put a rope around his neck, and used racial and homophobic slurs.
Chicago PD eventually questioned two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, who were in the vicinity of the event. The two men were arrested and questioned, but later released. Local Chicago media reported that the brothers told detectives that Smollett had paid them to stage the attack.