Empire actor and social justice activist Jussie Smollett has been arrested by Chicago police after he allegedly faked a homophobic, racist attack in the city and then lied to police about what happened.
"Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives", Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted. It could also force the actor to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a January 29 beating as he walked home from a sandwich shop.
After a long investigation into the alleged incident, Chicago police officially classified Smollett as a suspect Wednesday night for filing a false police report. This comes after Smollett turned himself in to Chicago Police to face felony charges in connection with an alleged hate crime attack he appears to have staged.
United States police have arrested a TV actor charged with lying to authorities about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on the streets of Chicago. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense".
The black actor, who is gay, claimed he was assaulted by two masked men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him. He said he had gone out to buy food and was on the phone to his manager when the men punched him, poured a chemical substance over him and put a noose around his neck.More news: Chris Hemsworth to play Hulk Hogan in movie headed to Netflix
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The two men questioned by police - identified as brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo - were initially arrested February 13 but released without charges after police cited the discovery of "new evidence".
Over the weekend, reports surfaced that changed the course of the investigation. Accompanying him will be the detective commander of Area Central, which handled the investigation.
Others, such as filmmaker Ava Duvernay, have expressed caution over putting faith in the police department: "Despite the inconsistencies, I can't blindly believe Chicago PD". Police questioned the men and searched their apartment.
Police said one of the men had appeared on "Empire", and Smollett's attorneys said one of the men is the actor's personal trainer, whom he hired to help get him physically ready for a music video.
Stay tuned for Jussie Smollett's bail hearing and first appearance.
Earlier on Wednesday, Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television issued a statement saying Smollett "continues to be a consummate professional on set" and that his character is not being written off the show.