Jussie Smollett a Suspect by Chicago Police for Filing False Report

Jussie Smollett a Suspect by Chicago Police for Filing False Report

In a statement, the “Empire” actor’s attorneys denied that he was involved in staging the attack.

Jussie SmollettFox Upfront Presentation, Arrivals, New York, USA - 14 May 2018

Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Jussie Smollett has officially been named a suspect in a criminal investigation by Chicago police for filing a false police report. Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi announced the news on Twitter, adding that “detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury.” Filing a false police report is a Class 4 felony in Chicago, which means Smollett could face once to three years in prison if convicted.

Smollett has claimed he was the victim of a hate crime attack on January 29. According to the “Empire” actor, two men shouted homophobic and racial slurs at him before getting physically violent with him, which included dousing him in a chemical substance and putting a noose around his neck. Chicago police originally brought in two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, for questioning but they were released soon after.

Read More:Jussie Smollett Denies Report That He Paid to Orchestrate Assault

According to local Chicago media, the two brothers told detectives investigating the case that Smollett paid them to stage the attack. Chicago police have spent the last couple days examining new evidence and now say Smollett is a suspect for filing a false report about the attack. Smollett has declined to speak to police following the brothers’ release and has denied involvement in staging the attack through a statement made by his attorneys.

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” the statement read. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

Fox issued a statement earlier today showing continued support for the actor, saying he was a “consummate professional on set.” IndieWire has reached out to Smollett’s representative for further comment.

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