Empire star Jussie Smollett is now in custody after surrendering to police at 5:00 am.
“Smollett surrendered to authorities Thursday morning after he was charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report,” reports ABC 7 Chicago.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi explained during a news conference the actor is expected to appear in bond court at 1:30 pm Thursday.
— WPEC CBS12 News (@CBS12) February 21, 2019
Guglielmi revealed during the conference that the scratches found on Smollett’s face when he filed the police report were self-inflicted.
“The brothers had on gloves,” he said. “They punched him a little bit, but as far as we can tell, the scratches and bruising that you saw on his face was most likely self-inflicted.”
CPD Superintendent says Jussie Smollett paid the 2 brothers by check:
"The brothers had on gloves…they punched him a little bit, but as far as we can tell, the scratches and bruising that you saw on his face was most likely self-inflicted." https://t.co/zIIys77lCR pic.twitter.com/NX1q2dyllB
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) February 21, 2019
The “judge is expected to formally read the charge against Smollett, set his bond and then he will be released. Smollett will return to court at a later date to enter his plea,” according to ABC 7.
Smollett, who is black and openly gay, claimed that he was assaulted on Jan. 29 by two masked men who hurled racial and profanities at him, doused him in bleach, put a noose around his neck, warned him this is “MAGA country and fled the scene of the incident.
Following his account of the incident, Democrats, the mainstream media and celebrities insisted President Donald Trump’s “racist” rhetoric was to blame for the attack. But according to police, Smollett paid two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, $3,500 to stage the attack. He also instructed the brothers to buy the noose, hat and masks.
Smollet and his attorneys maintain he is innocent.
“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,” his attorney said in a statement. “Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
His employers at Fox are standing by their star, but he will reportedly have a smaller role in upcoming episodes, but his role could potentially be suspended amid the filing of felony charges.
The actor faces a maximum of three years in prison and a hefty fine that could include the cost of the investigation.
Law enforcement officials are also investigating whether Smollett sent a hate letter to himself at the Empire office. The letter contained racist epithets and white powder, which was proved to be harmless. According to local media reports, Smollett instructed the brothers to send him the letter. The Empire actor could face federal charges if he indeed sent himself the letter.