Jussie Smollett, the Empire actor who drew national attention after alleging two Trump supporters assaulted him, was charged Wednesday night by an Illinois grand jury that found probable cause he orchestrated the assault he reported to Chicago police in January.
Filing a false police report in Illinois can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. But the grand jury opted to charge Smollett with a felony, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. A bond court hearing is set for Thursday at 1:30 pm.
The grand jury charged Smollett with a felony count of disorderly conduct and agreed he falsified the report of being attacked.
Breaking: Cook County State’s Attorney office tells @ABC7Chicago Jussie Smollett has been charged with felony disorderly conduct. Bond court hearing set for 1:30pm tomorrow.
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) February 21, 2019
Smollett told police that he was confronted by masked men at 2 am as he walked in downtown Chicago. The two men, he alleged, hurled homophobic and racial epithets at him, doused him in bleach, beat him up and then declared it was “MAGA country,” referencing President Trump’s campaign slogan.
No surveillance cameras recorded the attack and there were no witnesses. When he got home he was still wearing the noose he claimed the suspects placed around his neck. Investigators identified two brothers, Olabinjo and Abimboloa Osundairo, as suspects in the attack. The men, one of which had acted as an extra on Empire, reportedly told law enforcement officials that Smollett paid them to execute the coordinated attack.
Following Smollett’s allegations, Democrats, the liberal media and celebrities embraced Smollet’s sketchy account of the incident and blasted Trump, accusing the president of eliciting racial animosity amongst his supporters and using his rhetoric to evoke a tide of hate crimes.
Despite the abundance of evidence proving Smollett staged the attack, the actor adamantly maintains the incident transpired as he reported it.