Empire star and black American Jussie Smollett has been charged with felony after the police had found out he lied about reports he filed in concerning homophobic attacks late last month.
In the early hours of Jan 29, he (Jussie) claimed to have been attacked by two men who said all manner of racist’s words to him, beat him, and then put a rope around his neck.
The news of this ill treatment had earlier seen the American people support the popular star.
However, a deeper investigation into the matter by the police has come to show that he actually staged this event by paying the two men the sum of $3500 to be his accomplices.
He needed a pay rise and he went on to first write a letter and later stage the attacks.
Jessie Smollett was disappointed with Fox’s reaction to the “racist and homophobic” letter that appeared at Chicago’s “Empire” studio addressed to him, which he actually sent himself; so, he staged an attack, prosecutors said at a news conference after the actor’s bail hearing.
The police representative Anthony Guglielmi said prosecutors charged Smollett with felony disorderly conduct, an offense that could carry one to three years in prison and force the actor to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of the beating. Authorities were trying to get in touch with Smollett’s attorneys to “negotiate a reasonable surrender”, Guglielmi said.
His lawyers said they intended to conduct a thorough investigation and mount an aggressive defence. “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,” Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said in a statement.
His bail has been set at $100,000 and he must surrender his passport.