Police continue to investigate the reported attack against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who told authorities he was assaulted in the predawn hours Jan. 29 by a pair of men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him.
Update 6:42 a.m. EST Feb. 21: Smollett has turned himself in to Chicago police on a charge of felony disorderly conduct in falsifying a police report, the Associated Press is reporting.
Update 8:50 p.m. EST Feb. 20: Smollett’s Chicago attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, released a statement following the indictment:
“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.”
Update 7:44 p.m. EST Feb. 20: The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Jussie Smollett has been charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report on Jan.29.
The charge is a Class 4 felony that carries a possible prison sentence of 1-3 years, but he could also receive probation.
The bond hearing has been set for 1:30pm Thursday according to WLS-TV.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that detectives will make contact with his attorneys and negotiate a surrender for his arrest.
Update 5:30 p.m. EST Feb. 20: “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is now considered a suspect and detectives are presenting case to grand jury according to the Chief Communications Officer for Chicago Police Department.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted the news on Wednesday after Smollett’s attorneys met with prosecutors and detectives.
Update 4:30 p.m. EST Feb. 20: A police official said lawyers for Jussie Smollett are meeting with prosecutors and police investigators about the reported attack on the “Empire” actor.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Associated Press the meeting was taking place Wednesday afternoon. He declined to confirm reports that subpoenas had been issued for Smollett’s phone and bank records.
Update 2:20 p.m. EST Feb. 20: Officials with 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment on Wednesday denied reports Smollett was being written out of “Empire” in a statement released to WBBM-TV.
“Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” the statement said.
The comment followed reports that Smollett's role on the show was being slashed amid investigations into the actor's report that he was attacked in Chicago last month.
Authorities continue to investigate.
Update 9:30 a.m. EST Feb. 20: Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself Monday from the investigation into the reported attack against Smollett, according to WMAQ-TV. In a statement emailed to the station, a spokesperson for Foxx’s office said First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats would instead serve as acting state’s attorney in the case.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case,” the statement said, according to WMAQ-TV.
No further information was provided on the reason behind for the recusal.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday that authorities determined a tip they were investigating about a possible sighting of Smollett and the brothers who were previously suspected in the attack were unfounded.
“It was not supported by video evidence obtained by detectives,” Guglielmi said.
Original report: Authorities are investigating a tip that Smollett was seen in an elevator in his apartment building with two men who have since been arrested on suspicion of carrying out the attack in downtown Chicago, and were subsequently released without charges, police told The Associated Press.
The men, who were identified by attorney Gloria Schmidt as brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, were released without charges Friday after police said new evidence surfaced in the case, according to CNN and police.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The Associated Press a person who lives in the building or who was visiting someone there reported seeing the Osundairo brothers with Smollett on the night he was attacked. Guglielmi told the AP that as of Tuesday, officers had yet to confirm the account.
Smollett told officers he was attacked around 2 a.m. Jan. 29, as he was walking downtown near the Chicago River. He said two men yelled that he was in “MAGA country” -- an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make American Great Again” -- and that they hit him in the face, poured an “unknown substance” on him and wrapped a rope around his neck, The Associated Press reported.
Guglielmi told the AP that Smollett still had a rope around his neck when officers first made contact with him after the alleged attack.
Last week, police announced that the "investigation had shifted" following interviews with the brothers and their release from custody without charges. Police have requested another interview with Smollett. They have declined to comment on reports that the attack was a hoax, a claim Smollett’s attorneys have denied.
"Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying," Smollett’s attorneys said in a statement late Saturday.
Authorities continue to investigate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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