Chicago police continue their investigation into Jussie Smollett‘s alleged attack in a case that has seen multiple unexpected twists. The latest one occurred on Thursday morning when Smollett turned himself into law enforcement custody. He has since been formally arrested, which is the latest turn after his seemingly inconsistent story (in which he claimed to be a victim of a homophobic and racial assault) began to bizarrely disintegrate since late January.
Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the Chicago PD, confirmed on Twitter that Smollett was arrested and remains in custody.
Smollett faces a felony charge of disorderly conduct after allegedly filing a false report in a case that was initially investigated as a hate crime. If convicted, he could face anywhere between 1 and 3 years behind bars (and $25,000 in fines). His attorneys have vowed an “aggressive defense” and continue to stress that Smollett still denies any culpability after the actor entered police custody at 5:00am CST.
Three weeks ago, the actor and singer claimed that two men physically attacked him, hitting him over the head and wrapping a noose around his neck while yelling slurs. Police then questioned a pair of Nigerian brothers, who were extras on Empire, and quickly dismissed them as suspects. This finding was followed by reports that Smollett may have rehearsed the attack with the pair. These accusations have arrived amid plenty of criticism, including from Cardi B, who thinks that Smollett, if culpable, has “f*cked up black history month.”
CBS Los Angeles reported over the weekend that Smollett’s past legal problems include lying to police during a DUI stop a decade ago. In that incident, he reportedly told officers that he was his brother, actor Jake Smollett. Although Jussie is now considered a suspect in his own alleged attack, Empire producers denied reports (on Wednesday) that he’s being scaled back on the FOX series.
Smollett’s bond hearing will take place at 1:30 p.m. CST on Thursday.