“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett turned himself in to Chicago police Thursday morning on a felony charge of disorderly conduct by filing a false police report. On Wednesday night, authorities released a video of two brothers who allegedly conspired with Smollet in the reported hate attack, buying masks and a hat at a Chicago store.
ABC reports that Chicago authorities tweeted early Thursday morning that Smollett, who claimed he was attacked by two men in Chicago on January 29, “is under arrest and in custody of detectives.” The actor turned himself in at 5:15 a.m. His defense team, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, made a statement about their client the previous night.
“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. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
Press Briefing: Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives. At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court. pic.twitter.com/9PSv8Ojec2
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
Police will hold a press brief at 9 a.m. CST Thursday with additional information.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Smollett claimed the men who attacked him spewed racist and homophobic slurs at him before striking him, putting a noose around his neck, and pouring liquid on him. Smollett said the men wore masks and he couldn’t tell who they were.
On Wednesday, police released a surveillance video of two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, who worked as extras on “Empire,” purchasing masks, a red hat, and supplies at a store. The surveillance footage was taken January 28 at around 10 a.m., a day before Smollett reported the attack.
Sources reportedly told police that Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to carry out the alleged fake attack, according to CBS Chicago.
[Feature Photo: Jussie Smollett via Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File]