Out actor Jussie Smollett surrendered
to police in Chicago on Thursday morning.
Smollett, who is black and came out gay
in 2015, has said that he was attacked last month by two men in
downtown Chicago. The men hurled racial and homophobic slurs and
told Smollett that he was in “MAGA country.”
Smollett at home recovering after possible anti-gay hate crime.)
Smollett, who stars on the Fox drama
Empire, has been charged with one count of felony disorderly
conduct for filing a false police report.
At a press conference Thursday, Chicago
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that a threatening letter
sent to Smollett had been written by the actor. Johnson said that
Smollett paid $3,500 to two brothers to orchestrate the attack. The
brothers appeared before a grand jury on Wednesday. Johnson said
that Smollett staged his own attack because he was “dissatisfied
with his salary.”
"Empire actor Jussie Smollett took
advantage of the pain and anger to promote his career," Johnson
said. "I am 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 this city in the face by making these false
Smollett is expected to appear in bond
court on Thursday.
Smollett faces up to three years in
prison, if convicted of filing a false police report.