Jussie Smollett, an actor probably most known for his role in “Empire,” has been charged with one count of a class 4 felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
It was first made known to the public that the Chicago Police Department considered Smollett a suspect in the case, despite being the one to report it, on Wednesday. They were subsequently looking into charging the actor later in the evening which ultimately led to his arrest on Thursday morning.
Initially, a pair of brothers were quickly caught and thought to be suspects in the case before they reportedly revealed purchasing rope that was used in the crime at the behest of Smollett.
At this point, ABC News reports law enforcement turned their investigation onto the “Empire” actor.
From ABC News:
The two brothers who were interrogated by police investigating the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett purchased the rope that was found around the “Empire” actor’s neck, sources told ABC News Saturday.
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Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo agreed to cooperate with authorities after detectives confronted them with evidence that they bought the rope — allegedly used in an attack that Smollett described to police as laced with racial and homophobic slurs — at a local hardware store, sources said.
Detectives have now shifted the investigation to determining whether Smollett made up the entire story, sources said.
ABC 7 reports that Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, Smollett’s attorneys in the case, released a statement which read: “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.”
“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,” the attorneys also said, via ABC News. “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.”