Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was charged Wednesday with a felony for allegedly filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate-crime attack in Chicago, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney office.
Smollett is charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report with the Chicago Police Department on Jan. 29 in which he claimed he was assaulted by two masked men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs.
The actor, 36, who is black and gay, also said his attackers poured what he believed was bleach over him and put a noose around his neck. Smollett is expected in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Chicago Police Department spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, said that the investigation into the alleged attack has demanded “considerable” police resources. He said that at one point the department had 12 detectives scouring surveillance videos.
The two Nigerian brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, were taken into custody on Feb. 13 and questioned. They were released two days later, on Friday, without charges. Police said the two, who are brothers, were no longer suspects in the case and were cooperating in the probe.
On Saturday, a police source said the probe had shifted into whether the actor had paid the two brothers to stage an assault. Investigators had discovered that the brothers had purchased the rope used in the alleged attack.
Guglielmi said then that investigators wanted to have another interview with Smollett but he didn’t talk to police on Monday or Tuesday. However, Ola and Abel Osundairo met with police and prosecutors at a criminal court building on Tuesday, according to police spokesman Tom Ahern.
That same afternoon, police investigated, and then discounted, a tip they received that Smollett was seen with the Osundairo brothers on the night of the attack.