Update: 8:00 pm ET (Feb. 20, 2019) - Jussie Smollett has reportedly been charged with a class 4 felony charge for filing a false police report, according to The New York Times. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.
Original story below...
Jussie Smollett is officially a suspect in the alleged attack that occurred in Chicago earlier this year. Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi announced the news on Twitter on Wednesday (Feb. 20).
“Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony),” Guglielmi tweeted.
Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury. pic.twitter.com/FhDcbBKsuU
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 20, 2019
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. pic.twitter.com/LvBSYE2kVj
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
The announcement comes only moments after video surfaced of the two brother purchasing ski masks, gloves, and other supplies in a local store. The Osundairo brothers were allegedly hired by Smollett to act out the attack.
Smollett has adamantly denied accusations that he staged the attack. His family, Fox, and many other celebrity friends also released statements defending him. On Wednesday evening (Feb. 20), Smollett's legal team (Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson) issued the following statement:
“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."