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Jussie Smollett charged with filing a false report

CHARGED: Jussie Smollett

JUSSIE SMOLLETT has been charged with filing a false police report.

The actor had said that he had been attacked by two men who hurled homophobic and racist abuse at him last month. He also claimed they had punched him, poured an unknown chemical substance over him and put a noose around his neck.

In the aftermath of the alleged attack, Smollett received an outpouring of support from celebrities, including Janelle Monáe and Viola Davis, and fans. But many also raised doubts about the Empire star’s story.

Chicago police, who have been investigating the incident, revealed yesterday that Smollett has been charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.

Before he was charged, two brothers, Abimbola "Abel" and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo, claimed that they had been paid to stage the attack.

CCTV footage of the aspiring actors purchasing a red hat and ski mask, items that the alleged attacks were reported to have worn during the attack, was released on Wednesday.

In a statement, lawyers Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, who are representing Smollett 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."

The actor’s legal representatives had previously denied that Smollett had falsified the attack and said he had “been further victimised by claims” that he did.

The 36-year-old appeared on Good Morning America on Thursday, February 14, to dispute claims that he faked the attack. He said he had been “forever changed” by what happened.

According to reports, Smollett approached ABC to request the interview take place.

A week before the alleged attack, Smollett received a threatening letter, which the FBI is now looking into whether the actor sent it himself.

If Smollett is found guilty of filing a false police report and disorderly conduct, he could face up to three years in prison.

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