Authorities in Chicago on Wednesday approved felony criminal charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, hours after he was “officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation” for allegedly “filing a false police report” in connection with his Jan. 29 attack claims, police said.
The update in the case was provided by the department’s Chief of Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi on Twitter, who said the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved the “Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report” charges.
“Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” he continued.
So far, Smollet has not surrendered, his attorneys were made aware of the charges.
Smollett’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson released a statement on their client’s behalf.
“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,” the statement said. “Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
Investigators combed through surveillance video from the area where Smollett claimed he was attacked but were unsuccessful in locating footage of the beating.