(CHICAGO) — Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested in Chicago for allegedly filing a false report of a crime, police said.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi announced via Twitter early Thursday morning that Smollett “is under arrest and in custody of detectives.”
Smollett turned himself into police Thursday at 5:15 a.m. local time and made a statement to police before being taken into custody. His lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, were not present at the time.
Authorities will hold a press briefing Thursday at 9 a.m. Central Time, according to Guglielmi.
Smollett, who appears on the television drama series Empire, told police he was the victim of an alleged racist attack. He claims he was attacked by two masked men near his apartment in Chicago last month. He said they wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him. He told police the assailants yelled “MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make American Great Again” slogan.
Police later identified and questioned two “persons of interest” who were captured on surveillance video near the scene around the time of the alleged attack. The men, who are brothers, were arrested on Feb. 13 but then released without charges, with police saying they are no longer considered suspects at this time.
While being questioned by investigators, the brothers claimed that Smollett paid them to help orchestrate and stage the crime after he became upset that a letter threatening him, sent on Jan. 22 to the Fox studio where Empire is filmed, did not get enough attention, sources told ABC News.
A Chicago Police Department spokesman said not a single CPD resource used to solve murders or homicides was used for the Smollett investigation.
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