“Empire” star Jussie Smollett was charged Wednesday with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. The charge arises from a hate crime hoax that he allegedly orchestrated last month.
“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,” Anthony Guglielmi, the Chief Communications Office for the Chicago PD, tweeted. (RELATED: Two Men Arrested In Smollett Case Released With No Charges)
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
Smollett’s lawyers issued a statement saying, “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.”
According to Illinois statues, filing a false police report constitutes disorderly conduct, and is felonious. A conviction for a class 4 felony in Illinois carries a 1-3 year prison sentence and can include fines up to $25,000, according to the state’s general assembly.
Smollett alleged that two white men beat him up in the middle of the night as he was walking home from a Chicago-area “Subway” restaurant last month. He told Chicago police that the men poured a bleach-like substance on him and tied a noose-like rope around his neck while shouting racist and homophobic slurs. Smollett alleged that the men screamed “This is MAGA country!” (RELATED: Jussie Smollett On MAGA Hats: ‘I Never Said That!’)
Smollett’s story has fallen apart in recent weeks.
Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, two Nigerian men, were arrested last week for the attack only to be released days later without any charges being filed against them. They reportedly appeared in front of a grand jury earlier Wednesday.
Another aspect of the case is the threatening letter Smollett allegedly received. It remains unclear who sent the letter and there are rumors Smollett may have sent it to himself.