Jussie Smollett Bail Set at $100,000 Following First Court Appearance

Empire actor Jussie Smollett's bail was set at $100,000 in his first court appearance Thursday.

Smollett was also ordered to give up his passport and will have to wear pre-trial monitoring, reports CBS Chicago. His next court date has been set for March.

If convicted, Smollett could be sentenced to one to three years in prison or probation, reports Variety. He could also be ordered to pay the Chicago Police Department for the cost of the investigation.

On Thursday, the actor turned himself in after he was indicted on felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. Chicago police said the alleged attack of Smollett on Jan. 29 was a hoax, after the actor admitted he was unhappy with the salary he was earning from Empire.

Smollett claimed two men attacked him during the early morning hours of Jan. 29, yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him and throwing a chemical at him. They also left him wearing a rope around his neck.

Last week, police interviewed brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, who were arrested and released without being charged. They testified before a grand jury this week, and were allegedly paid $3,500 for the attack. According to CBS Chicago, Smollett paid them with a check, which police said they have.

A State Attorney outlined the plot during the bond hearing, and said it was originally scheduled for 10 p.m., but Smollett's flight home was delayed four hours, reports BuzzFeed News. Surveillance footage showed the brothers arriving at their new arranged time, but Smollett was four minutes late.

Chicago police believe the motive for the hoax was to get attention, as Smollett was allegedly unhappy with his salary.

"I'm left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?" Chicago Police Superintedant Eddie Johnson said during a press conference Thursday morning. "How can an individual who's been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?"

Smollett's future on Empire is unclear, but 20th Century FOX Television issued a brief statement. "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.


"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," Smollett's attorneys said Wednesday. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

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