Jussie Smollett charged with filing false police report about attack

Brenda Watkins
February 21, 2019

He now faces felony charges for filing a false police report and disorderly conduct. Filing a false report is a class 4 felony in IL, carrying a minimum prison term of one year.

Smollett's attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said in a Sunday statement in response to suspicions over whether the attack was planned that it was "nothing further from the truth".

Mr Smollett's lawyers said they would "conduct a thorough investigation and mount an aggressive defence".

"Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest", police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter.

Prosecutors said a bail hearing for Smollett is anticipated at 1.30pm local time on Thursday (February 21), reports CNN.

Last week, police arrested two brothers who were recognised from surveillance footage of the area where Smollett said the attack occurred. The Chicago Police Department held a press conference where they stated that Smollett staged the attack because he was "dissatisfied with his salary".

The brothers were arrested last week and released without charges after they were interrogated.

The brothers also told a CBS2 reporter in a phone interview that they are not racist, homophobic or anti-Trump, the news station reported.

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"Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process", he said.

Wednesday's announcement comes hours after police called the actor "a suspect in a criminal investigation ... for filing a false police report".

This comes on the heels of the two supposed suspects, brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, having been questioned and released.

The New York Times, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said Smollett had been indicted by an IL grand jury that found probable cause that he had staged the attack.

The actor has denied playing a role in his attack, according to his attorneys.

Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics show hate crimes rose 17 per cent in the United States in 2017, especially against African-American and Jewish populations.

In a supplemental interview with authorities, Smollett confirmed media reports that one of the attackers also shouted, "This is MAGA country", a reference to President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.

Before the police made their announcement Wednesday, 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series "Empire", expressed support for the actor. The Post adds that Smollett could turn himself in on Wednesday night.

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