Empire TV actor Jussie Smollett, who is now considered a suspect in the case of the investigation surrounding his likely-fictitious attack, is being charged with a felony, according to a Chicago Police spokesperson.
Chicago Police Department Chief Communications OfficerAnthony Guglielmi Tweeted:
"Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest."
Earlier today Guglielmi Tweeted, "Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury."
In a statement to Fox News on Wednesday about the latest development in the case, 20th Century Fox Television, which produces "Empire," and Fox Entertainment said they had "no comment at this time."
Smollett, who is openly gay and black, reported that on Jan. 29, he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway restaurant. He claimed that the men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at him, poured a substance on him, threw a rope around his neck and shouted, "This is MAGA country!"
Investigators combed through surveillance video from the area where Smollett claimed he was attacked but were unsuccessful in locating footage of the beating. They did find and release images of two people they said they wanted to question.
Two individuals who were questioned about the alleged crime were arrested, police told Fox News on Friday. Although police did not elaborate on what crime was potentially committed, they said the individuals were not charged. Authorities had considered them to be suspects, however, according to Guglielmi at the time.
The two men — whom police identified only as Nigerian brothers — were picked up at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday and taken into custody after returning from Nigeria after police learned that at least one of the men worked on "Empire," Guglielmi said. He did not know what the man's job was on the television drama, he said.
Guglielmi confirmed that a search warrant was executed at the Chicago apartment where the men lived but did not have any information about exactly what police found.
On Friday evening, Guglielmi tweeted that "due to new evidence" obtained through questioning, the individuals "were released without charging."
The following day, police said Smollett was no longer considered a victim in their investigation. Police earlier said that the "trajectory of the investigation" shifted and that they wanted to conduct another interview with Smollett about the alleged hate crime.
This is a pretty stupid reason to ruin your career, Jussie.