It’s no scene for a TV show, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is being charged for filing a false police report over claims he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault. A Cook County grand jury has indicted him on the felony charge after detectives presented their evidence.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says detectives expect "to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest" It’s unclear if that’s happened, but Smollett is due in court this afternoon. If convicted, Smollett faces up to three years in prison as well as fines.
Not surprisingly, Smollett’s legal team says they’re ready for war. “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,” attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson say in a statement. “Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
- While Fox (the studio behind “Empire”) has declined to comment following the latest development, at last check, they’re standing behind him.calling Smollett a “consummate professional on set” and maintain that he “is not being written out of the show.” Time will tell how long that lasts, given recent reports that his scenes are being cut. Additionally, there are other reports Fox may remove Smollett from the show until his legal situation is sorted out. Still - there's been nothing official from the studio since the charges were filed.