Update (21st February): Jussie Smollett has turned himself in to Chicago authorities, according to a tweet from The Associated Press. Anthony Guglielmi, the Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Police Department, also confirmed that police currently have Smollett in custody. Wednesday evening, the Chicago Police Department confirmed on Twitter that charges of disorderly conduct had been brought against Smollett for allegedly filing a false police report.
"Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report," reads the tweet. "Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest."
Representation for Smollett gave the following statement Wednesday evening: "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."
If found guilty, Smollett could face up to three years in prison.
This post was originally published on February 20, 2019.
According to a tweet from the Chief Communications Officer at the Chicago Police Department, Empire star Jussie Smollett is officially considered a suspect in connection to his alleged attack in the city earlier this month.
Per the tweet, Smollett — who previously claimed that he was attacked by two men who doused him in bleach, threw racial and homophobic slurs at him, and put a rope around his neck — is now a suspect for the crime of filing a false police report.
“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),” the tweet reads. “Detectives are currently 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
This news comes after brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo were arrested in connection to the alleged attack last week and then released Friday. New reports about the brothers’ alleged involvement have surfaced in the days since they were cleared.
Smollett has maintained his innocence in the situation. A statement from his lawyer last week reads, per Variety:
"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."
Refinery29 has reached out to Smollett and the Chicago Police Department for comment.