Feb. 20 (UPI) — Jussie Smollett was charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, a Chicago police spokesman said Wednesday night.
Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote on Twitter that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office approved the Class 4 felony charges against Smollett for allegedly falsifying a report that stated two unknown men in Chicago attacked him while he was walking and shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him.
“Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” Guglielmi added.
The announcement of charges came hours after Guglielmi said Smollett was officially designated as a suspect in a criminal investigation regarding the report.
Guglielmi also confirmed prosecutors were speaking with Smollett’s attorneys as part of their investigation, but couldn’t confirm reports that as many as half a dozen subpoenas seeking Smollett’s cellphone and bank records have been issued, Chicago news station WLS-TV reported.
“The only tool for detectives to be able to corroborate information is a search warrant and a subpoena. I am not at liberty to discuss the specifics, but it is not uncommon for any detective or law enforcement to subpoena records,” he said.
Smollett’s attorneys issued a statement Sunday, denying reports that he paid two men to help him stage the alleged assault.
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” the statement by lawyers Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson read.
“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
Two men police considered persons of interest were released without charges Friday night after they were questioned by police.
Chicago police also said they are “eager” to re-interview Smollett after questioning the two brothers.