CHICAGO (CBS) — “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett turned himself in to Chicago police early Thursday morning, hours after he was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself last month in Streeterville.
Smollett turned himself in at the Central District police station at 18th and State streets around 5 a.m., police said. He made no statement to police.
Police transferred Smollett from police lockup to the Leighton Criminal Courthouse later Thursday morning. Smollett was scheduled to appear for a bond hearing Thursday afternoon on a felony charge of disorderly conduct.
Jussie Smollett’s made arrangements to turn himself in last night (away from cameras)
Now being processed. Fingers prints, mug shot..
He will be transported to court.
“He has made no statement to police.”-CPD spox @cbschicago
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 21, 2019
Disorderly conduct is a Class 4 Felony. CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller says Smollett could face probation to up to 1.5 years in prison.
Smollett’s attorneys released the following statement after he was charged Wednesday night:
“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. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
The actor and singer, who is black and openly gay, had told police he was attacked as he was walking home around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He claimed two masked men – one of them also wearing a red hat – shouted racist and homophobic slurs as they beat him, put a noose around his neck, and poured a chemical on them.
Two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, were arrested last week, but later released without charges.
Sources have said the two brothers told police they helped stage the attack with Smollett. They said they were paid $3,500 to orchestrate the attack. They left for Nigeria hours after the attack, and were arrested days later when they returned to Chicago.
On Wednesday, they testified to a grand jury. Smollett was later charged with disorderly conduct.
The two brothers allegedly told police Smollett also was behind creating a racist letter sent to the show, according to two sources with first-hand knowledge of the investigation.
When that letter did not get a “bigger reaction,” Smollett orchestrated the attack a week later with the two men, sources said.
CBS 2 was first to obtain video of the brothers buying a red hat and ski masks from a store the day before the assault. The video shows Ola and Abel Osundairo placing the masks and a hat on the counter.
The brothers’ attorney Gloria Schmidt spoke to the media after the brothers testified in front of the grand jury for 2.5 hours.
“I think the biggest thing for the American people to know is that this story has a lot of complications to it,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt says the brothers are not expecting to be charged with any crime “because they are not guilty of anything.”
“I think Jussie’s conscience is not letting him sleep tonight,” Schmidt said. “So he should unload that conscience and just come out to the American people what actually happened.”
CBS 2’s Brad Edwards confirms Geragos will serve on Smollett’s defense team, which will still be led by Chicago-based attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson.
Geragos’ client list includes pop star Michael Jackson, actor Winona Ryder, and singers Chris Brown and Sean “Diddy” Combs.</body></html>