UPDATE: Prosecutors have released new details on what led to Smollett's arrest.
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested and charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.
On Thursday, Anthony Guglielmi, Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago police, tweeted, “Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives. At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court.”
A mug shot has been released.
Tom Ahern, Deputy Director of News Affairs and Communications for the Chicago police, added on Twitter, “Chicago Police Detectives take #Empire actor #JussieSmollett into custody to face Class 4 Felony charge (punishable for up to 3yrs in prison) for Disorderly Conduct in Falsifying Police report.”
At the news conference, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said, “Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn, and certainly didn’t deserve.”
As for the motive, the police noted that Smollett “was dissatisfied with his salary.” According to the police, Smollett paid two men $3,500 via check to stage the attack, with a promise of another $500 upon their return from Nigeria. Johnson said the wounds on Smollett's face were likely self-inflicted.
The arrest comes a day after Smollett’s legal team revealed that they were prepping for an “aggressive defense.” In a statement, they said, “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.”
After his arrest, FOX said in a statement, "We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”