Jussie Smollett arrested over allegations of faking a racist attack

The Empire actor handed himself into police in Chicago after being charged with lying about January incident.

February 21, 2019
Jussie Smollett arrested over allegations of faking a racist attack Jussie Smollett attends the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 60th Anniversary Opening Night Gala Benefit at New York City Center on November 28, 2018 in New York.   Theo Wargo/Getty

Empire actor Jussie Smollett has handed himself into authorities in Chicago after being charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. The felony charge was issued on Wednesday. A bond hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Cook County Criminal Court, police said.


Chicago police chief Eddie Johnson alleged in a press conference on Thursday morning that Smollett paid two men $3,500 by check. Johnson went on to claim that Smollett's motivation for doing this was that he was dissatisfied with how much he was earning on Empire. Citing phone records, Johnson added that Smollett spoke to his alleged attackers "an hour or so" before the incident and again afterwards.

Chicago Police Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki also stated that “Jussie was not hurt other than scratches on his face. Maybe some bruising, but no broken ribs or serious injuries.”

Smollett claimed he was attacked in the early hours of January 29 in Chicago by two white men wearing Make America Great Again hats. He said the men beat him, tied a noose around his neck, and shouted "This is MAGA country" before pouring an unknown substance on him and fleeing. On February 15 two Nigerian brothers named Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo were arrested and later released without charge on February 16. Police subsequently requested a follow-up interview with Smollett two days later.

The actor's attorneys have strongly denied that the actor was involved. "Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying," they said on Saturday.

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Jussie Smollett arrested over allegations of faking a racist attack