Chicago police call hate crime allegations from ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett a ‘publicity stunt,’ bond set at $100,000

Jussie Smollett's feet to the fire in wake of alleged fake attack

CHICAGO, IL (WOIO) - Chicago police started their press conference by blasting “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for faking an attack to try to promote his career.

“I just wish that the families of gun violence got this much attention,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson started.

Chicago police call allegations from ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett a ‘publicity stunt’

Johnson and Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki provided an update to the actor’s arrest Thursday morning.

Johnson said Smollett orchestrated the attack on himself by paying two men $3,500 with a personal check, calling the alleged hate-based attack a “publicity stunt.”

“Bogus police reports cause real harm,” Johnson said. “They do harm to every legitimate victim who’s in need of support by police.”

Smollett faces felony criminal charges for disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. He turned himself into Chicago authorities early Thursday morning to face the accusations.

Jussie Smollett's jail booking photo (Source: CNN Newsource/Chicago police)
Jussie Smollett's jail booking photo (Source: CNN Newsource/Chicago police)

The 36-year-old African-American and homosexual actor alleged that he was attacked overnight in January while walking home in downtown Chicago. He told investigators that two masked white men assaulted him, doused him with bleach, and looped a noose around his neck while making anti-gay comments and references to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan before fleeing.

Detectives questioned two individuals who were seen on surveillance video. After they testified that the attack was orchestrated by Smollett, Chicago police’s investigation turned towards the actor as the primary suspect.

Smollett appeared in a Cook County courtroom Thursday afternoon. The judge set bond at $100,000.

Risa Lanier, the Chief of the Criminal Prosecuting Bureau in Cook County, detailed their findings.

Illinois prosecutor details Jussie Smollett investigation

If convicted, he could face three years in prison.

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