CHICAGO — On Wednesday, ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett was named a suspect for filing a false police report, a class 4 felony.
Police say investigators, seeking to bring charges, are presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury.
Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury. pic.twitter.com/FhDcbBKsuU
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 20, 2019
On January 29, Smollett alleged that he was attacked in the 300 block of East Lower North Water Street in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, in what was initially investigated as a hate crime. Police later alleged Smollett orchestrated the attack.
Shortly before Smollett was named as a suspect, the two brothers accused of conspiring with him to orchestrate the fake hate crime attack are seen on surveillance video apparently buying items used during the incident.
The video shows Ola and Abel Osundairo placing the masks and at least one hat on the counter.
Harvey Levin Defends TMZ Report on Jussie Smollett’s Attack: ‘Never Said I Believed It’
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 20, 2019
Smollett told police that he was attacked outside his apartment building by two white men in ski masks who made racial and homophobic slurs, and said “This is MAGA country,” referencing President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” and used their hands, feet, and teeth as weapons in the assault.
According to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department, the two suspects then “poured an unknown liquid” on Smollett and put a noose around his neck.
Smollett was not seriously injured.
Upcoming episodes of ‘Empire’ have been rewritten to reduce Smollett’s role.