Jussie Smollett Arrested by Chicago Police Over Allegedly Lying About Attack

Jussie Smollett was arrested and taken into police custody, a Chicago Police Department spokesman said early Thursday morning.

"Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives," spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted just before 6:30 a.m. ET. He added that more information will be released before Smollett's scheduled hearing in court Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday evening, federal charges were filed against the Empire star for disorderly conduct/filing a false police report after evidence surfaced that he may have played a role in the possibly orchestrated alleged attack against him in January.

Attorneys for Smollett said they will "mount an aggressive defense" for the actor, who allegedly filed the initial police report claiming he was the victim of a hate crime in Chicago on Jan. 29. He claimed he was assaulted by two men, including one who was masked. The men allegedly yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, tied a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

Initially, police said they were treating the alleged attack against the black and openly gay actor as a hate crime. But in the weeks that followed, they said the scope of the investigation "shifted," transforming Smollett from a victim to a suspect.

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.

Smollett has denied playing a role in the attack.

"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," his attorneys said in a statement after the Cook County District Attorney's Office approved a felony criminal charge against him Thursday.

"Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

Authorities arrested and questioned brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo last week, but quickly released them without filing charges upon discovery of "new evidence." The brothers reportedly claimed that Smollett paid them $3,5000 to stage the attack. One of the brothers worked with Smollett as an extra on the set of Empire. Security footage appeared to show them with Smollett in the elevator of his apartment building shortly before the alleged attack.


The charges against Smollett came after the Osundairo brothers testified before a grand jury in Chicago.