February 21, 2019
Photo by Twitter via @ReutersUK
Just a few weeks ago, Jussie Smollett was hospitalized for a racist and homophobic attack while he was in Chicago, and now, the actor has been arrested on suspicion of allegedly filing a false report about the whole incident. He was taken into custody around 6 a.m. ET this morning, ahead of his 2:30 p.m. bail hearing, according to CNN, after turning himself in at central booking early, reports AP.
Jussie Smollett's mug shot was just released this morning. He remains in custody pending a bond hearing. (📸: CPD) pic.twitter.com/E0Uxd4lRYD
— Pop Crave (@PopCraveNet) February 21, 2019
In a press conference held earlier today, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson spoke about the hoax and how it affected city residents: “When we discovered the actual motive, quite frankly, it pissed everybody off because we have to invest valuable resources.” He also went on to express that hate crimes are taken seriously in the metropolitan area, and this event didn’t deserve the notice it received: “Any time a hate crime is reported in the city of Chicago, it gets the same attention. This didn’t get any special attention. You all gave this more attention specifically than we do.” Watch the full police briefing below:
While on Good Morning America last week, the Empire star recalled what happened to him that night in the Windy City: “While he was on the phone, I heard as I was crossing the intersection, I heard ‘Empire!’ I don’t answer to ‘Empire,’ my name ain’t ‘Empire.’ I didn’t answer, I kept walking. I heard ‘F*ck Empire, n*gger,’…so I turned around. And I see the attacker, masked. And he says, ‘This MAGA country,’ and punches me in the face.” Watch the full interview below:
Reports have been swirling for the past few days about the singer paying two brothers to assault him, but he stood by his initial claims of the traumatic event. According to CNN, surveillance video from Jan. 28 obtained from a Chicago-area beauty supply store shows the two men connected to the incident purchasing items such as a ski mask, sunglasses, and a red hat. Later, they were identified as brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, and were arrested on Feb. 13, but released without charges after police cited the discovery of “new evidence.” In a joint statement, the siblings said: “We are not racist. We are not homophobic, and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens,” reports CBS Chicago.
Speculation started to swirl about the 36-year-old being written off the show around the same time this information was made known. His plan allegedly came from him being dissatisfied with his salary on the FOX show, according to EW, prompting him to pay $3,500 to stage the reported ambush.
The writers of Empire have never planned or even discussed writing @JussieSmollett off of the show.
— Empire Writers (@EmpireWriters) February 15, 2019
Things aren’t looking too good for Jussie after this: “How can an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?” Johnson said.
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