Empire star Jussie Smollett was arrested Thursday morning after police charged him with disorderly conduct and filing a false report, a felony, in connection with his alleged attack last month, Chicago police said.
Anthony Guglielmi, the Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Police Department, announced in a tweet: “Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives.” He added that the actor will later appear in court.
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Smollett’s legal team Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson responded to the latest development in a statement Wednesday when charges were announced, saying that they will investigate as well.
“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,” his team said in a statement to ESSENCE. “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
Smollett initially reported that he was a victim of an assault by two men on January 29. Police initially said Smollett suffered injuries after bleach was poured on him and a noose was found around his neck.
The news garnered the actor an outpouring of support from his fellow Empire co-stars, celebrities as well as presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.
However, after police launched an investigation into the incident, they identified two persons of interest: brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who appeared on Empire. The two were later released without being charged, according to a tweet released by Chicago PD last Friday.
During an interview with Good Morning America last week, Smollett pushed back against critics who have accused him of lying about the assault.
“I’m pissed off. It’s like, you know, at first, it was a thing of, like, ‘Listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it,’ ’cause it’s the truth,” Smollett told GMA. “Then it became a thing of like, ‘Oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you — how do you not believe that? It’s the truth.’”