Jussie Smollett Arrested for Alleged False Report — Watch Chicago PD Press Conference (VIDEO)
Smollett claimed he was attacked in Chicago on January 29 by two men who supposedly shouted a number of racist and homophobic slurs at him, tied a rope around his neck, and poured an unknown chemical substance on him. According to CNN, recent developments have led to Smollett's arrest at 5am CT on Thursday morning.
Smollett was taken into custody and faces a felony charge of disorderly conduct if the false report is proven true. The star has maintained his innocence despite the shifting narrative around 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 attorneys in a statement. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."
News of Smollett's arrest was confirmed in a tweet from the Chicago Police Department's spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. "Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report," wrote Guglielmi. "Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest."
Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest. pic.twitter.com/LvBSYE2kVj
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
Doubt in Smollett's case began when two suspects were apprehended and then cleared after they were revealed to have been acquaintances to the actor.
During a live press conference on Thursday morning, the Chicago PD revealed new information about the arrest. Police Chief Eddie T. Johnson called the attack a "hoax," a "shameful... publicity stunt" that they believe was orchestrated because the actor was "dissatisfied with his salary" on Empire.
Prior to the alleged false attack, Johnson said Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter to his place of work. "When that didn't work, he paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process," he continued.
A bond hearing was held at 1:30 p.m. CT Thursday in Cook County Criminal Court. Smollett's charge is a class 4 felony, which carries a potential sentence of one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
A judge ordered that Smollett be held for $100,000 bail during the bond hearing.