Actor Jussie Smollett charged over alleged staged attack, turned himself in

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:26 PM PT — Thursday, February 21, 2019

Rumors are swirling regarding the drama series “Empire” as actor Jussie Smollett is suspended after being charged with filing a false police report. This comes after Smollett turned himself in to Chicago Police to face felony charges in connection with an alleged hate crime attack he appears to have staged.

According to Variety Magazine, Smollett’s status on “Empire” is under consideration as legal proceedings get underway. 20th Century Fox television declined to comment on these specific reports, but did issue a statement saying Smollett would not be written out of the show.

FILE – In this Monday, May 14, 2018 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation after party at Wollman Rink in Central Park in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Meanwhile, Cook County officials are charging the actor with felony disorderly conduct for his apparent filing of a false police report regarding a hate crime attack he allegedly staged against himself.

Smollett previously claimed he was attacked on January 29th by Trump supporters, while walking home from a Subway restaurant. However, later reports indicated he was friendly with the two alleged attackers, who were two Nigerian brothers that allegedly helped plan and stage the incident with them. They have since agreed to work alongside prosecutors as they investigate the case, and testified before a grand jury for roughly two-and-a-half hours Wednesday before the charge was filed.

Surveillance footage, also released Wednesday, appears to show the two brothers buying a red hat and ski masks used during the alleged attack.

Smollett’s lawyers have responded to the charge, saying — like any other citizen — their client must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. They also said they intend to conduct a thorough investigation and mount an aggressive defense.

This image provided by the Chicago Police Department and taken from surveillance video shows two people of interest in an attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett walking along a street in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, early Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Courtesy of Chicago Police Department via AP)

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