Jussie Smollett Charged in Connection With Faking Attack, Officials Say

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The Chicago Police Department announced Wednesday evening that Jussie Smollett, the actor at the center of a highly scrutinized case involving his alleged assault last month, is now considered a suspect in the criminal investigation for filing a false police report.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that Smollett is in custody after surrendering to authorities after 5 a.m. Police said they would conduct a news conference at 9 a.m.

The alleged hate-crime attack on January 29 put Smollett in the hospital with several injuries, including a fractured rib, and eventually led Chicago police to arrest two brothers, Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo.

According to the BBC, one of the brothers in question is Smollett's personal trainer and both have worked as extras on Empire.

He added that police officers presetned evidence before a Cook County grand jury yesterday, who then returned an indictment shortly before 7pm local time (1am today GMT).

Meanwhile, CBS's Chicago affiliate has obtained video surveillance footage of the suspects - brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo - at a convenience store purchasing ski masks, gloves, bandanas, sunglasses and red hats.

He claimed they also shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him, including "n****r" and "faggot".

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The class 4 felony Smollett faces carries a potential sentence of one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 (£19,000) in fines.

Empire star Jussie Smollett has been charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report, and detectives are negotiating his arrest.

The men are expected to testify as early as Wednesday, according to TMZ and are no longer suspects in the investigation. Smollett had claimed that two apparent supporters of US President Donald Trump had struck him, put a noose around his neck and poured an unknown substance over him.

Police released the brothers two days later without charges.

Once rumors began swirling and law enforcement sources came forward with new information, the Chicago Police Department confirmed on February 16 that the trajectory of its investigation had "shifted" toward Smollett.

The Osundairos' attorney, Gloria Schmidt, hasn't responded to multiple requests for comment from The Associated Press. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. "Nothing is further from the truth", reports the BBC.

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