Authorities in Chicago approved felony criminal charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, hours after he was “officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation” for “filing a false police report.”
Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved the “Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report” charges.
“Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” he continued. Smollett’s attorneys were made aware of the charges.
Smollett, who is openly gay, reported that on 29 January, he was attacked by two masked men on his way home from a Subway restaurant. He claimed that the men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at him, poured a substance on him, threw a rope around his neck and shouted, “This is MAGA country!”
However, after investigators went through surveillance video from the area where Smollett claimed he was attacked, they were unable to locate footage of the beating. They did find and release images of two people they said they wanted to question.
The individuals were questioned on Friday. The two men — whom police identified only as Nigerian brothers — were picked up at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport last Wednesday, according to Fox News, and taken into custody after returning from Nigeria after police learned that at least one of the men worked on “Empire,” Guglielmi said.