In the wake of actor Jussie Smollett's arrest, Chicago Police have provided an update on the case in a new press conference.
Police have charged Smollett with making a false claim, and have stated that his dissatisfaction with his Empire salary was the motive for orchestrating the hoax.
Additionally, police shared that the two men who Smollett hired to help him— brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo — were nearly processed as suspects before their lawyer stepped in to explain that they had information that would exonerate them of any wrongdoing. Police later stated that they had the $3,500 check he wrote the brothers as payment for their involvement as evidence.
Authorities also advised that Smollett is in custody after turning himself in, and will have a bond hearing later this afternoon.
The press conference is being live-streamed on YouTube for the public to be able to view. "Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the Jussie Smollett investigation prior to the Empire star’s appearance in court today," a description of the press conference reads.
In January, Smollett alleged that two men assaulted him in what appeared to be a hate crime due to the actor being a homosexual and African-American.
Police began to investigate and determined there were two persons of interests caught on security camera footage from the night of the attack that they were interested in speaking with. Those men turned out to be the Osundairo brothers.
Upon speaking with the brothers, police were told that they were associates of Smollett, and that he hired them to help him carry out his hoax. Authorities then determined that there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that Smollett faked the attack.
Following the initial hoax allegations, Smollett had vehemently denied that he faked the attack.
His attorney's released a statement in regard to the hoax claims, saying on Smollett's behalf, "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. 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."
At this time, Smollett's legal team does not appear to have provided a new statement in the wake of his arrest.