Jussie Smollett Arrested, Could Face 3 Years In Prison

Actor Jussie Smollett is under arrest, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi has said Thursday. 

Smollett “is under arrest and in custody of detectives,” Guglielmi’s tweet reads.

Attorneys for Jussie Smollett say they’ll “mount an aggressive defense” as the actor faces a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report claiming he was a victim of a hate crime in Chicago. 

The “Empire” star allegedly filed the report with police on January 29, saying he was assaulted by two men, including one who was masked. They allegedly yelled racist and homophobic slurs, tied a rope around his neck and poured an unknown substance on him. 

At the time, police said they were treating the attack against the black and gay actor as a hate crime. 

But in the weeks since the alleged attack first made headlines, the narrative has unraveled with several twists, transforming him from a victim to a suspect in three weeks. 

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has approved a felony criminal charge against Smollett for disorderly conduct. 

Detectives will contact his legal team to negotiate “a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” he said. 

Under Illinois law, filing a false police report is disorderly conduct and punishable by one to three years. His bail hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time Thursday, prosecutors said. 

The actor has denied playing a role in his attack, according to his attorneys.

“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 attorneys said in a statement. 

“Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”