Jussie Smollett Is Facing Criminal Charges
The Chicago Police Department has issued criminal charges against Jussie Smollet. CNN reports that the Empire actor "has been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report claiming two men attacked him." The Cook County State's Attorney Office approved the charges, which means that arrangements are being made for Smollett to turn himself in.
"He has now been criminally charged," Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The New York Post. "The state attorneys have approved the charge." Illinois code states that filing a false police report constitutes disorderly conduct, which carries a three- to six-year prison sentence as well as up to $25,000 in fines.
Guglielmi added that the Chicago PD is "trying to get in touch with [Smollett's] lawyers" so that the process can move forward. The Post adds that Smollett could turn himself in on Wednesday night. Prosecutors noted that a bail hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
Smollett told police that he was the victim of a hate crime on Jan. 29. He was hospitalized after the alleged attack, which involved two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs and tying a rope around Smollett's neck. The two brothers supposedly involved in the incident told authorities that Smollett paid them to stage the attack. Upon further investigation, police requested a follow-up interview with Smollett and asked for financial records to corroborate.
Smollett's attorney released a statement, saying that the case involves both true and false information and that the team is prepared to defend its client. Smollett denies accusations that he orchestrated the attack.
"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," said Smollett's lawyer. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."