President Donald Trump said Empire actor Jussie Smollett insulted millions of people when he allegedly made a false police report about an attack in Chicago.
On Thursday, Chicago police said Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career” when he made a false police report about an attack in Chicago.
Smollett also sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to the Fox studio lot where he works in Chicago before the attack, Supt. Eddie Johnson said. He said Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary.
Smollett turned himself in and was arrested early Thursday to face accusations that he filed a false police report when he told authorities he was attacked in Chicago by two men who hurled racist and anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck, police said.
The whispers about Smollett’s account started with reports that he had not fully cooperated with police after telling authorities he was attacked. Then detectives in a city bristling with surveillance cameras could not find the video of the beating. Later, two brothers were taken into custody for questioning but were released after two days, with police saying they were no longer suspects.
Following three weeks of mounting suspicions, Smollett was charged Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct, a charge that could bring up to three years in prison and force the actor, who is black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating.
In less than a month, the 36-year-old changed from being the seemingly sympathetic victim of a hate crime to being accused of fabricating the entire thing.
The felony charge emerged on the same day detectives and the two brothers testified before a grand jury. Smollett’s attorneys met with prosecutors and police, but it was unknown what they discussed or whether Smollett attended the meeting.