After weeks of speculation, Jussie Smollett is officially under arrest, according to the Chicago Police Department. His lawyers are already speaking out, claiming they will have an “aggressive defense.”
CNN.com reports, “The ‘Empire’ star was taken into custody around 5 a.m. CT, police said, ahead of a 1:30 p.m. bail hearing. Smollett faces a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report claiming he was attacked by two men, including one who was masked, in the early morning of January 29 in Chicago.”
His lawyers released the following statement, “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.”
On Feb. 9, while walking to a subway, two men reportedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at the actor after he exited the restaurant, investigators told The Hollywood Reporter. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
Threatening letters directed at Smollett were reportedly sent to Fox Studios in Chicago a week before. The cutout letters read, “You will die black f**.” See below:
The notoriously corrupt Chicago Police Department has dropped the ball from the beginning with their handling of the case in the media. First, a police spokesperson said there was no footage of the assailants. Then, hours later, there were two “persons of interest” on video. For weeks, there have been endless leaks and “sources” speaking to the press.
The 36-year-old actor and singer made it clear that he was not lying, telling Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America,” “For me, the main thing was the idea that I somehow switched up my story, you know? And that somehow maybe I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing. I didn’t need to add anything like that. They called me a f—-, they called me a n—-. There’s no which way you cut it. I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of some racist sundae.”
Smollett also said he was optimistic when he was told there was a camera where the attack took place, however, the camera was in the opposite direction, which he had no control over. However, the “Empire” actor has another theory on why people are doubting him, “I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate. And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more.. And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now.
“It’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.” Watch below: