Empire’s Jussie Smollett Arrested Following Staged Attack

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The saga around Empire‘s Jussie Smollett’s attack took a bizarre turn on Thursday, February 21st. The actor has been arrested by the Chicago P.D. for faking the brutal attack on himself on January 29th, 2019. The charges, officially, are for felony criminal charge of disorderly conduct/filing a false police report.

In a press conference, Superintendent Eric Johnson outlined CPD’s theory of the case and issued their own statement on the events. The prevailing theory of the crime is that Smollett planned to use his attack in order to bolster his own career and obtain a pay raise on Empire.

In his original statement, Smollett said that he was attacked by pro-MAGA (Make American Great Again) who beat him and screamed various racial and homophobic slurs at him. It has since been revealed that Smollett hired the two men, who are his personal trainer and an extra from Empire.

Superintendent Johnson said, “Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. 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? How can an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the face by making these false claims?”

You can watch the full press conference below.

In a statement from Smollett’s lawyers, they said, “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. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”

Smollett was announced as a suspect in his own attack on Wednesday, February 20th. Since his surrender to police, he has been released on a $100k bond. He is currently back at work on Empire.

Though the actor’s future on the series may be in doubt, Fox announced that they are “evaluating the situation” following Smollett’s arrest.

In the statement, the network and producers said, We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”

Bec Heim