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Empire star Jussie Smollett has turned himself into Chicago police over allegedly making up the story he suffered a racist and homophobic attack last month.
NEW: Color booking photo of Jussie Smollett.
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 21, 2019
According to the Washington Post, Smollett will appear in court on Friday afternoon on a felony charge of disorderly conduct. If convicted, the actor could face up to one and a half years in prison and a hefty fine.
According to CBS, Smollett has hired the legal services of celeb attorney, Mark Geragos, who will serve on Smollet’s defense team which is still headed up by Chicago-based attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson. Geragos’ previous clients include Michael Jackson, Chris Brown and Winona Ryder.
“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,” Smollet’s legal team stated after charges were filed against their client on Wednesday.
According to CBS Chicago, Chicago police allege Smollett concocted the story he was attacked by two men who shouted “This is MAGA country” before beating him, tying a noose around his neck, and dousing him with an unknown chemical, because “he was dissatisfied with his salary.”
“Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said at a news conference Thursday morning. “This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn, and certainly didn’t deserve.”