Jussie Smollett lied to the police before by claiming he was his little brother Jake when he was pulled over for a DUI in 2007.
The actor pleaded no contest to giving false information in addition to driving under the influence and driving without a valid license, according to records obtained by NBC.
The incident took place in Los Angeles and he was 25 at the time. Jake, one of his three brothers, was 18.
Smollett said his name was Jake then reportedly signed it on a promise to appear in court.
He was charged with false impersonation, driving under the influence and driving without a license but later pleaded no contest to the reduced count of providing false information.
Smollett was given two years probation, a choice of a fine or jail and completed an alcohol education and treatment program the following year.
The Smollett family is standing by the Empire actor.
When news of the attack emerged, they issued a statement calling for an end to hate crimes.
Jake, who has appeared on cooking shows and had minor roles in TV series, posted the family statement on his Instagram account on February 1 but has not spoken out since.
On Tuesday afternoon, two of Jussie’s siblings – Jocqui and his sister Jurnee – shared a Malcolm X quote in support of him which suggested he was being vilified by the media.
Details of the 2007 incident emerged after a series of developments in the case.
On Wednesday, Fox denied claims Smollett was being written out of Empire, as previously reported.
‘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,’ a 20th Century Fox spokesman told DailyMail.com.
It came after a ‘Hail Mary’ from the actor’s legal team halted the two brothers who say he paid them to attack him were due to testify against him in front of a grand jury.
Abel and Ola Osundairo were minutes away from testifying before a grand jury but were halted at the last second after Smollett’s legal team made a phone call to prosecutors with new evidence.
It is not yet clear what that evidence was but, hours later, Kimberly Foxx, the Cook County State’s Attorney, recused herself from the case.
She said the decision was based on her ‘familiarity’ with people involved but would not give any further information.
She has now been replaced and the probe is ongoing but the State’s Attorney’s office is not responding to inquiries about it.
Smollett’s new lawyer, Mark Geragos – who represented Colin Kaepernick – did not reply to inquiries either.
If or when the brothers will speak before a grand jury remains uncertain. It has been widely reported that police are seeking another interview with the actor but whether or not that will happen remains to be seen.
No charges have been filed against anyone.
On Wednesday, the Chicago Police Department would not confirm or deny reports that they had issued search warrants for Smollett’s financial and phone records, as reported by CBS.
According to leaked information from the brothers’ police interviews, they told investigators Smollett also was behind a January 22 letter he received at the Empire studio in Chicago.
They allegedly told investigators that he orchestrated the January 29 attack because that letter, which threatened ‘you will die black f**g’, did not receive enough attention.
Smollett reported the letter to the police when he received it along with Empire producer Dennis Hammer.
They both handled it with gloves before officers arrived, according to the incident report.
A white substance found inside it was found to be aspirin. The letter is now being investigated by the FBI and the United States Postal Service.
Smollett, who maintains that he is being truthful, has beefed up his team of attorneys with Colin Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos.
During a tearful appearance on Good Morning America last week, the actor wept over the fact that no surveillance camera footage had been found of the attack and told of his incredulity that his story was being doubted.
He claims to have been attacked as he walked home from a Subway sandwich shop at 2am on January 29, not long after arriving back in Chicago on an hours-long delayed flight from New York.
Smollett had been in the big apple taking part in a reading of a play about a gay baseball player who suffers a similarly homophobic attack to the one he reported to police.
At around 2am, surveillance cameras picked him up walking home.
Cameras also picked up Ola and Abel, the brothers, sitting on a park bench.
They are said to have been filmed watching Smollett walk past them then getting up to follow him, according to unconfirmed police sources.
The brothers were also filmed in a ride-share on their way the ‘attack’ and looked ‘nervous’ in that footage, according to the sources.
There is no footage of the actual incident but Smollett was filmed seconds after it walking back into his apartment building with a rope around his neck.
He went up to his apartment where his 60-year-old friend Frank Gatson was waiting for him.
It was Gatson who insisted that they report the incident to the police, which they did 42 minutes after it happened.
Smollett was still wearing the rope around his neck when the officers arrived.
They asked him to hand over his phone to check his claim that he had been on a call with his manager at the time of the incident but he declined, citing the privacy of his contacts.
His refusal to do so later became a source of speculation.
Eventually, he handed over redacted records which police said were ‘insufficient’ proof of the call.
The attackers allegedly called him ‘Empire f****t n****r’ and shouted: ‘This MAGA country!’
His manager, Brandon Z. Moore, came out within the first few days of the attack to tell Variety that he heard them make those remarks but he has repeatedly declined DailyMail.com’s requests for more details about their call or what he says he heard.
SOURCE: Daily Mail,