Staged attack lands Empire actor Jussie Smollett behind bars of Cook County Jail - The Sauce
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Staged attack lands Empire actor Jussie Smollett behind bars of Cook County Jail

Actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested in Chicago after being charged with filing a false police report.

The Empire star had said he was subjected to a homophobic and racist physical attack by two men in January.
Police suspect the 36-year-old actor paid two Nigerian brothers to stage the attack. They are both co-operating with the investigation, US media reported earlier.

According to the BBC, he was due to appear in court later on Thursday. His lawyers earlier said they would “mount an aggressive defense”.

Suspicion over the actor’s claim started to grow after police said they could not find any video footage of the alleged incident from surveillance cameras. There were also no witnesses. But investigators managed to track two men who appeared on video footage near where the actor said he had been attacked.

The Nigerian men Ola and Abel Osundairo had left the US following the alleged attack and were held for nearly 48 hours after they returned last week. They were released without charges after providing information that “shifted the trajectory of the investigation”, police said. One of the brothers is Mr. Smollett’s personal trainer and both have worked as extras on Empire.

Mr. Smollett turned himself in early on Thursday (21.02.19) and is in custody of Chicago police, spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said according to the BBC report. The actor is being temporarily held at the Cook County Jail and has been separated from other prisoners, which is common of notable inmates, Chicago media report. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison and may also be forced to reimburse police for the cost of their three-week-long investigation.

The actor said he had been “forever changed” by the alleged incident and as reported by The Sauce Jussie had received massive support from fellow celebs and fans such as Oscar winner Viola Davis and supermodel Naomi Campbell. However, some celebrities apart from Trevor Noah have reacted to the “Gay Tupac’s”  arrest, with many disappointed with how low Smollett stooped for attention.

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