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Jussie Smollett Released on $100K Bond, Pleads to ‘Empire’ Cast: ‘I Did Not Do This’

Jussie Smollett's mugshot
Jussie Smollett’s mugshot

*”Empire” actor Jussie Smollett turned himself in early Thursday morning to face a charge of making a false police report when he claimed to be the victim of a racially-charged hate-crime last month in Chicago.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed his arrested  after he was hit with charges Wednesday, and his legal team says they are gearing up to launch an “aggressive defense.”

Smollett’s bond was set at $100,000 at a court hearing Thursday afternoon, during which he was also ordered to surrender his passport.

The Chicago Police Department held a press conference after he was in custody and Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson blasted the singer, saying he orchestrated the attack because he was “dissatisfied” with his “Empire” salary.

“Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson said. “I am left hanging my head asking ‘why?’. Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? … How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?”

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Activist Sets Press Conference for Thursday to Demand FIRING of Jussie Smollett from ‘Empire’

Ola and Abel Osundairo - buying items used for jussie attack
Ola and Abel Osundairo seen allegedly buying items used for Jussie Smollett attack (Photo: CBS)

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office said: “The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has approved a disorderly conduct charge on Jussie Smollett.”

Guglielmi also confirmed on Twitter Wednesday that Smollett faces felony charges of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison.

The two brothers accused of being his co-conspirators in the assault, Ola and Abel Osundairo, have been working with police to help them make sense of what allegedly went down on the night Smollett claims he was victimized by two masked MAGA-loving homophobic racists.

In addition to staging the attack, officials said Jussie also sent himself a hate-filled letter to the Fox studio where “Empire” is filmed.

President Trump even weighed in on his arrest minutes after officers wrapped the press conference.

“@JussieSmollett – what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA,” Trump tweeted — tagging Smollett for his over 58 million Twitter followers.

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” according to a statement from his lawyers. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

“One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video,” the statement continued. “It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.”

See the mob of reporters that surrounded the entertainer after he was released from jail this afternoon (via video embed below):

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#TSRFreshOut: #JussieSmollett is released on $100K bond ?? (?: @cnn)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

According to TMZ, Jussie hit up the “Empire” set following his release, where he was scheduled to film a scene but was too emotional to do so.

Instead, surrounded by his family, he addressed the cast and crew on set, saying …”I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls. I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family. I swear to God, I did not do this.”

After that, he reportedly left the set and the scheduled scene was postponed.

Smollett’s next court hearing is March 14.

 

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