Advertisement
News by VICE

Chicago Police just arrested Jussie Smollett

The actor claimed he was attacked by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs.

by Tess Owen
Feb 21 2019, 12:07am

Updated at 7:00 a.m. EST

Actor Jussie Smollett was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly filing a bogus police report last month in which he claimed to be the victim of a vicious attack in Chicago, a police spokesman said.

He is expected to attend a bail hearing Thursday afternoon.

Smollett was charged Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct.

Cook County State's Attorney's office approved the felony charge, said Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi. The announcement came just hours after Chicago police first confirmed that Smollett was indeed under investigation for allegedly faking his own hate crime.

Filing a false police report is considered a Class 4 felony in Illinois and carries a prison sentence of between one and three years.

Smollett, who's best known for his role in the Fox series “Empire,” alleged that he was attacked by two masked men around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29 in Chicago. Smollett told police that his assailants shouted “MAGA country,” poured a chemical on him, beat him, hurled homophobic and racist slurs at him, and placed a noose around his neck.

But in the days following the alleged assault, Chicago police said they were struggling to find evidence that would lead them to his assailants. Weeks later, and after the arrest of two brothers, Smollett’s story started to unravel. Police ultimately released the brothers without charges.

According to media reports citing police sources, the brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, told police that Smollett paid them to stage the attack. Smollett knew the brothers through his work on "Empire" (one was his personal trainer) and rejected the notion that they were involved in the attack via his lawyer. “It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity,” Smollett’s lawyer said in a statement Saturday.

On Wednesday, ABC-7 obtained surveillance video that appeared to show the Osundairo brothers in a hardware store purchasing the supplies used in the attack.

Also on Wednesday, CBS-Chicago reported that Smollett has hired Mark Geragos, a powerhouse criminal defense lawyer who has represented celebrities including Winona Ryder, Michael Jackson and Chris Brown.

Cover: Jussie Smollett attends the National CARES Mentoring Movement's third annual For The Love of Our Children Gala on January 29, 2018 in New York City. Credit: Raymond Hagans/MediaPunch/IPX.

Tagged:
crime
VICE News
Hate Crime
hoax
Chicago Police Department
false police report