Actor Jussie Smollett was charged on Wednesday with filing a false police report when he said he was attacked by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs, Chicago police said on Wednesday, with the actor now facing arrest.
Smollett, a 36-year-old black, openly gay actor on the hip-hop TV drama “Empire,” ignited a firestorm on social media by telling police on Jan. 29 that two apparent supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump beat him up on the streets of Chicago, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach over him.
“Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter.
Lawyers for Smollett, who has stuck by his story for three weeks as police failed to find surveillance video of an assault and suspicions of a hoax grew on social media, have not responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Twentieth Century Fox Television, which produces “Empire,” declined comment.