UPDATE (21/2/2019 15:43): Chicago Police Superintendant Eddie Johnson spoke to the press on Thursday morning, delivering a powerful statement about the case and revealed that Smollett staged his own attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary, according to police.
JUST IN: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson: Jussie Smollett "paid $3,500 to stage this attack...The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary." https://t.co/5AiMcfe6iH pic.twitter.com/0za7CEbVtv— ABC News (@ABC) February 21, 2019
BREAKING: Police: "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett sent himself racist and homophobic letter and was dissatisfied with his salary.— The Associated Press (@AP) February 21, 2019
After being charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly faking his own attack, Empire star Jussie Smollett surrendered to authorities Thursday morning (February 21).
The actor was attacked by two masked men in late January, with reports claiming that he was attacked before a noose was placed around his neck and bleach poured onto his face.
But while the incident was originally treated as a “hate crime”, Smollett has now been charged with filing a false police report – amid claims that he orchestrated the attack himself.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that Smollett is in custody after surrendering to authorities after 5 a.m. Police said they would conduct a news conference at 9 a.m (US time).
Smollett is expected to appear in court Thursday, where the judge is expected to formally read the charge against him, set his bond and then he will be released. Smollett will return to court later to enter his plea.
Meanwhile, the attorney representing the Osundairo brothers, who were arrested Feb. 13 but released without charges two days later, Gloria Schmidt, said they testified in front of a grand jury for hours Thursday and said Smollet needs to come clean about what really happened.
"I think that Jussie's conscience is probably not letting him sleep right now, so I think he should unload that conscience and just come out and tell the American people what actually happened," Schmidt.
Smollett continues to deny the claims against him and previously released the following statement via his lawyer, saying:
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."
If found guilty of all charges, he could face up to three years in prison and substantial fines.
IMAGE CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES