Wednesday evening, federal charges were filed against the 36-year-old for disorderly conduct/filing a false police report after evidence surfaced he may have played a role in the alleged hate-crime-turned-hoax from January.
Under Illinois law, filing a false police report is disorderly conduct and punishable by one to three years in jail. His bail hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time Thursday.
Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi tweeted Thursday morning that Smollett was in police custody and under arrest.
During a press conference Thursday morning, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett orchestrated a "phony attack" in order to take "advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career."
Additionally, police said that the two men Smollett hired to attack him, brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, were nearly processed as suspects before their lawyer claimed that they had information that would exonerate them of wrongdoing. The brothers confessed that Smollett hired them to stage the attack, paying them $3,500. Police later said that they had the check he wrote them as evidence.
Following his bond hearing Thursday afternoon, Smollett will either be released on bond or kept in custody until his next hearing.
Johnson called the interview Smollett gave on Good Morning America last week "shameful."
"To be quite honest, it's shameful because it painted this city that we all love and work hard in in a negative connotation," Johnson said during the press conference Thursday morning. In the interview, Smollett said he was "forever changed" by the incident and was "pissed off" by the attack and the shadow of doubt that was cast over his story.
Johnson also said that "absolute justice" would be an apology to Chicago. "Absolute justice would be an apology to this city that he smeared, admitting what he did and then be man enough to offer what he should offer up in terms of resources put into this," Johnson said, pointing out the man-hours police poured into the case.0comments
"We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options," the statement read.