Following several weeks of investigation by Chicago police—and due diligence by the Cook County State’s Attorney office—"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with a felony for filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate-crime attack last month.
According to NPR, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter, "Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest."
Smollett allegedly filed a report with the Chicago Police Department on January 29 in which he claimed he was assaulted by two masked men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him.
Chicago Police said in their incident report that Smollett had a rope around his neck when police arrived to speak with him.
Smollett claimed that his attackers shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured a substance on his body, threw a rope around his neck, and shouted, "This is MAGA country!"
The assault elicited outrage from politicians such as Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker—both of whom offered their support for Smollett after the allegations surfaced.
However, the two brothers taken into custody in connection with the investigation—identified as Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo—have given a different account of events, saying that Smollett orchestrated the entire incident.
In a written statement, the attorneys who represent the actor-—Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson—said Smollett "enjoys the presumption of innocence."