Empire star taken into custody

Thursday - 21/02/2019 10:16
Jussie Smollett has been arrested and taken into custody. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
Jussie Smollett has been arrested and taken into custody. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
US actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested after handing himself in over charges he made a false police report as the two brothers allegedly involved want to “man up” and tell the truth.

US actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested after he was charged with lying to police when he claimed he was attacked and beaten by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs, Chicago police say.

Smollett’s lawyers say the star will fight the charges as producers of the hit hip-hop TV drama Empire are reportedly considering removing him from the show.

Smollett, a 36-year-old black, openly gay actor, ignited a firestorm on social media by telling police on January 29 that two apparent supporters of US President Donald Trump had struck him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach over him.

Empire actor Jussie Smollett in his mug shot. Picture: Supplied
Empire actor Jussie Smollett in his mug shot.
Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied


 

Pictured clockwise from left: Bryshere Gray, Trai Byers, Jussie Smollett, Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Picture: Fox
Pictured clockwise from left: Bryshere Gray, Trai Byers, Jussie Smollett,
Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Picture: FoxSource:Channel 10

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The Associated Press that Smollett turned himself in early on Thursday.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson will hold a morning press conference and Smollett is expected to appear in court later on Thursday.

Empire actors Abimbola 'Abel' (left), and Olabinjo 'Ola' Osundairo (right) were allegedly paid to stage the attack. Picture: Supplied
Empire actors Abimbola 'Abel' (left), and Olabinjo 'Ola' Osundairo (right) were allegedly paid to stage the attack. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

The 36-year-old actor was charged on Wednesday.

The charge could bring up to three years in prison.

It could also force the actor to pay for the cost of the investigation into his alleged false report.

It comes as a lawyer representing two brothers at the centre of the incident said they received “some money” from the star.

Speaking to reporters outside of a Chicago court where brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo testified before a grand jury, she said the two men accepted money from Smollett and wanted to tell the truth.

Jussie Smollett, left, with his Empire co-stars Taraji P. Henson, Grace Gealey and Trai Byers. Picture: Splash
Jussie Smollett, left, with his Empire co-stars Taraji P. Henson, Grace Gealey and Trai Byers. Picture: SplashSource:Supplied

“There was a point where this story needed to be told, and they manned up and they said, ‘We’re gonna correct this.’”

“Plea deal, immunity, all of that — they don’t care about that.”

Earlier on Wednesday police announced that they were classifying Smollett as a ‘suspect in a criminal investigation’ and a grand jury was impaneled to hear evidence in the case.

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 Keywords: Jussie Smollett

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