In a damning but now not shocking twist in the Jussie Smollett scandal, Chicago police announced Thursday that “Empire” star has been officially charged and arrested.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson held a press conference this morning and alleged Smollett concocted the attack because “he was dissatisfied with his salary.”
“Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn, and certainly didn’t deserve.”
Smollett turned himself in to Chicago police early Thursday morning, hours after he was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself last month in Streeterville. Smollett turned himself in at the Central District police station at 18th and State streets around 5 a.m., police said. He made no statement to police.
The actor and singer, who is black and openly gay, had told police he was attacked as he was walking home around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He claimed two masked men – one of them also wearing a red hat – shouted racist and homophobic slurs as they beat him, put a noose around his neck, and poured a chemical on them.
Police said, in reality, Smollett had paid those two men, Ola and Abel Osundairo, $3,500 by check to stage the attack. CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar has reported Smollett also directed the brothers to buy the noose at a hardware story and the hat and masks a store in Uptown. Johnson said police have the check.