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Jussie Smollett arrested for falsely reporting he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime


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Jussie Smollett has been arrested in Chicago for falsely claiming he was the victim of a hate crime which he said involved two masked men putting a noose around his neck.


The Empire star, who is black and gay, filed a police report after he alleged he was subjected to a homophobic and racist attack by two men in Downtown Chicago on 29 January.

Jussie Smollett arrested

Photo of Jussie Smollett by Dominick D CC-by-SA-2.0

However Chicago Police now say the 36-year-old actor faces a felony charge as they suspect he fabricated these allegations.


Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi shared a statement about Mr Smollett on Twitter. It read: “Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest.” Mr Guglielmi later went on to reveal the actor had been arrested and was in custody.


In his police report, Mr Smollett said two men physically attacked him, put a noose around his neck and yelled "This is MAGA country" along with other homophobic and racist slurs. MAGA stands for ‘Make America Great Again’, an American political slogan popularised by President Donald Trump which some people now claim is being used by others as a racist statement used against marginalized groups.


On 1 February, addressing some people’s skepticism of the attack, Mr Smollett released a statement saying he had been "100% factual and consistent on every level."

A police press briefing will be held at Chicago Police Headquarters today (3pm U.K. time) where Supt Eddie Johnson and Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will speak about the investigation and arrest.



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