Smollet exploited 'pain, anger of racism' with bogus attack: Chicago police

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Smollett, who plays a gay character on the hit Fox television show "Empire", said he was attacked as he was walking home from a downtown Subway sandwich shop.

"I'm offended by what happened and I'm angry", Johnson said.

Smollett originally claimed he was attacked in Chicago around 2 a.m. on January 29, in freezing temperatures by two white men who shouted slurs at him and said "this is MAGA country", an apparent reference to Trump's slogan "Make American Great Again". Johnson explained that after the letter -which contained racist and homophobic threats, as well as a white powder that was later determined to be aspirin - didn't get the attention Smollett was seeking, he made a decision to stage an attack. The rapper shared a post on Instagram of Smollett's face photoshopped into Tupac's All Eyez On Me album art with the caption, "All Liez On Me".

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Johnson determined that Smollett's recent behavior was motivated "because he was dissatisfied with his salary" on Empire.

"He did harm to every legitimate victim who's in need of support by police and investigators as well as the citizens of this city".

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".

In addition, new surveillance video surfaced Wednesday of the two brothers implicated in the alleged attack against Smollett - and it appears to corroborate their story that the actor actually paid them to pull off it off.

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Smollett was arrested today under suspicion that he filed a false police report by faking a politically-charged hate crime against himself. A bond hearing is scheduled for 1:30 pm in Cook County Criminal Court.

On Wednesday his lawyers said they would "mount an aggressive defence".

They are now considered witnesses in the attack and testified for a grand jury before Smollett's arrest, police said.

This week, after it was revealed Fox had cut Smollett's scenes down in an upcoming Empire episode, the network again stood by its star.

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They said in a statement before he was charged: "Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show".

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