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Jussie Smollett Charged With Filing False Police Report

Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report, the Chicago police said Wednesday.

“Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter.

Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

In a statement, Smollett’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said they would aggressively defend the charge.

“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,” Pugh and Henderson said. “Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”

Police said earlier that they were presenting evidence to a grand jury. Smollett could face one to three years in prison if convicted of the felony charge, though he could also be sentenced to probation.

Smollett told police on Jan. 29 that he had been attacked by two men, who poured bleach on him, put a rope around his neck, and used racial and homophobic slurs. Police scoured surveillance cameras in the area, and were unable to find images of the attack. They were able to track down two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, who were in the vicinity of the event.

The brothers were arrested last week and questioned for two days. Local media reported that they told detectives that Smollett had paid them to carry out the attack. The two brothers were spotted Wednesday by reporters at the Cook County grand jury.

Smollett’s attorneys have denied that he staged the assault, saying that the accusation represented a further victimization.

Fox has not commented on the latest developments, but did issue a statement earlier in the day Wednesday standing by Smollett.

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