“The stunt was orchestrated because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters in a Thursday morning news conference. .
“Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and and anger of racism to promote his career.” Johnson, who appeared visibly angry, called Smollett’s actions “despicable. .
The actor turned himself into police early Thursday after he was charged Wednesday night with felony disorderly conduct in filing a false police report.
Smollett, who is black and openly gay, told police he was the victim of a hate crime, claiming on Jan. 29, that two people yelled homophobic and racist statements at him, beat him, threw bleach on him and put a noose around his neck. .
Among the things he said the attackers shouted was “this is MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan.
Johnson said Smollett had paid two Nigerian brothers, $3,500, by check, to stage the attack after he sent himself a letter with racist and homophobic language in order to gain attention.