‘Empire’ actor charged with lying to police about racist attack
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was on Wednesday charged with making a false police report charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report about a racist and homophobic attack.
Earlier this month, the “Empire” star – who is openly gay told police that he was attacked on January 29 by two white men “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs”.
According to his report to the authorities, Smollett who plays Jamal Lyon said that an unknown chemical was poured on him and a rope was tied around his neck, and that the men yelled “this is MAGA country” as they fled the scene.
Last week two brothers were arrested and released in connection with the alleged attack after Chicago police cited the discovery of “new evidence.”
In a statement issued to CNN, the men said: “We are not racist. We are not homophobic, and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens.”
Doubts began to grow about the legitimacy of Smollet’s story as police confirmed the “trajectory of the investigation” had shifted and that they would be requesting a follow-up interview with the actor.
A statement from Smollet’s representatives last week refuted the claims, calling suggestions he orchestrated his own attack “ridiculous”.
In a supplemental interview with authorities, Smollett confirmed media reports that one of the attackers also shouted, “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.
The day after the incident, police released surveillance images that showed two silhouetted individuals walking down a sidewalk, and police said they were wanted for questioning.
Following the alleged attack, Smollett’s colleagues and fans rallied around him, expressing shock and sadness.
Smollett denies playing a role in his attack, according to a statement from his attorneys.