Jussie Smollett Arrested and Facing Felony Charges in Assault Case
Oh, the tangled web we weave. It looks like Empire actor Jussie Smollett is about to get a lot more than he bargained for when this whole attack investigation began.
On Jan. 29, Smollett reported to police that he had been attacked around 2 a.m. in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago. He claimed that two men had beaten him while shouting homophobic and racial slurs. They also allegedly tied a rope around his neck, poured an unknown liquid on him and yelled, “this is MAGA country.”
But as more details surrounding the incident came to light, the police began to believe that Smollett may have staged the whole thing.
In a strange turn of events, the actor is now facing felony charges for faking the attack.
“Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report,”
Since then, Smollett has been taken into custody.
“Press Briefing: Jussie Smollett is under arrest and in custody of detectives,” Guglielmi tweeted early this morning. “At 9 a.m. 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.”
In Chicago, the charges against Smollett could lead to him serving one to three years behind bars.
“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,” the actor’s attorneys said in a statement obtained by CNN.”Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
Suspicions of Staging
The case that was originally treated as a hate crime took a turn when police arrested brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo who were in the area of the attack.
The brothers told police that Smollett had paid them to help him with the assault. They claimed that they scouted the location with Smollett and even rehearsed the incident.
A video has also surfaced of the brothers buying items used in the attack at a local beauty supply store. In the video, the men were seen buying a ski mask and sunglasses, among other items.
The brothers were released from custody on Feb. 13th after telling police of Smollett’s role in the attack.
The men have not yet accepted any plea deals but
Though concrete evidence that the incident was staged has come to light, Smollett and his attorneys still maintain the actor’s innocence.
On Saturday, Smollett’s attorneys Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson released a statement outlining how angry Smollett was at the accusations made against him.
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” the statement read.
“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
Read more: Who is Jussie Smollett Dating?
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