Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that Smollett is in custody after surrendering to authorities after 5 a.m. Police said they would conduct a news conference at 9 a.m.
Smollett is reportedly expected to appear in bond court at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Smollett’s lawyers released a 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.”
Smollett had claimed that two masked men attacked him on Jan. 29 while he walking to his apartment. They allegedly hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him and tied a noose around his neck.
Investigating Jussie Smollett’s Claims
With tears in his eyes, Empire star Jussie Smollett sat down with Robin Roberts last week for his first interview about his alleged assault in Chicago in January.
The 36-year-old actor got emotional as Roberts asked, “At any point during the attack, did you fear for your life?”
TMZ first broke the news that the popular actor and singer was hospitalized after being attacked by two masked white men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him as they put a noose around his neck and repeatedly punched him.
Smollett shared the graphic details of the racist and homophobic attack with Roberts.
But Chicago investigators quickly found holes in Smollett’s story. They had video of Smollett walking away from the two alleged assailants and also video of him with a rope around his neck but no footage of the actual attack.
The Osundairo brothers, the two men at the center of the investigation into the alleged assault against Jussie Smollett, spoke out on Monday for the first time.
Sources reportedly told CBS 2 Chicago and ABC News that Smollett enlisted the Osundairo because he was upset that a threatening letter that was sent to him on the set of Empire in Chicago didn’t conjure up the reaction he wanted.
The note reportedly read: “Smollett Jussie you will die black f–,” and included a stick-figure drawing hanging from a tree next to a gun.
Brothers Abimbola “Abel” Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo according to police sources have been fingered as possible co-conspirators who allegedly helped Smollett stage a hate crime attack, The Ny Daily News reports.
CBS Chicago released video this week showing the brothers were caught on camera buying ski masks, gloves, bandanas, sunglasses and red hats before the attack.
They released a joint statement saying:
“We are not racist. We are not homophobic and we are not anti-Trump,” they said. “We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens.”
Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, Chicago’s top prosecutor recused herself from the investigation into the attack reported by “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett shortly after police requested another interview with the actor.
The office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx offered few specifics when announcing that Foxx was recusing herself from the case, which police said had “shifted” after detectives released two Nigerian brothers who were initially deemed suspects.