Jussie Smollett // Chicago PD
Jussie Smollett is "under arrest and in custody," according to the Chicago Police Department.
The "Empire" actor turned himself in to face a Class 4 felony charge for falsifying a police report on Thursday (Feb. 21). On Wednesday (Feb. 20), authorities classified Smollett as a suspect in his own alleged hate crime. Shortly after his arrest, Smollett's mugshot was released, as shown below.
According to law enforcement sources, Smollett allegedly paid two Nigerian brothers $3,500 to attack him in Chicago on Jan. 29 because he was dissatisfied with his salary on "Empire." Smollett originally told police the men approached him wearing black ski masks and shouted racial and homophobic slurs before attacking. He also claimed the assailants poured bleach on him and put a rope around his neck.
Newly released video footage shared by CBS2 reporter Charlie De Mar appears to show the Nigerian men, identified as Ola and Abel Osundairo, purchasing items similarly used in the attack.
EXCLUSIVE:— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 20, 2019
I tracked down surveillance of the Osundairo's buying supplies before "attack"
Sources say Jussie Smollet told brothers what to buy.
Countless phone calls placed for this.
Visited more stores than I wish to admit. @cbschicago https://t.co/GT6h2g6Y9a pic.twitter.com/ULr3UTDe9Q
Police were able to track down the Osundairos using their rideshare information and raided their home in Chicago on Wednesday (Feb. 13). Officials confiscated five bottles of bleach, a red hat, and shoes among other items likely to be used as evidence in the case. The brothers have reportedly cooperated with Chicago PD and testified before a grand jury for two and half hours on Wednesday (Feb. 20).
The actor continues to deny his involvement in his assault. His lawyers released a statement in regards to the charges, writing, "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. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."
A bond hearing for Smollett is scheduled for 1:30 pm local time in Cook County Criminal Court. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.