DISGRACED Jussie Smollett was slammed by Chicago police today for “taking advantage of the pain and anger of racism” to promote his career.
The Empire actor is in custody and could face three years in jail after he was sensationally charged with staging an elaborate street assault so he could play victim.
He has also been accused of sending himself a note containing a cartoon figure strung up by a noose and cut-out letters spelling: “You will die, black f*g”.
Smollett claimed the note was a threat before two Trump fans in MAGA hats shouted racist and homophobic abuse, beat him up and left him with a rope round his neck.
Today Chicago cop chief Eddie Johnson said the actor faked the whole thing because he wanted to boost his profile and pay packet.
He said: “Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language.
“When that didn’t work, Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack.
“This morning, not only do I come to you as the superintendent of the Chicago police department, but also as a black man who has spent his whole life living in the city.
“This announcement today recognizes that Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.
“I’m left hanging my head asking why.
“Why would anyone, especially an African-American man use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations.
“How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile.
“I’m offended by what has happened and I’m also angry.”
President Trump tweeted today: “@jussiesmollett – what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA”
Cops grew suspicious as holes began to appear in the actor’s story following the alleged attack in Chicago last month and a tearful TV interview he gave as he told of his ordeal.
CCTV footage emerged showing two brothers with links to Smollett buying ski masks, bandannas and red hats just a day before the “attack”.
In a sensational development on Wednesday night, Chicago Police announced Smollett had been charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter: “Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report.
“Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest.”
This morning, Guglielmi added: “Jussie Smollet is under arrest and is in custody of detectives.”
Smollett is due in court later today. He could face up to three years in prison if convicted under Illinois law.
Responding to the charge, Smollett’s lawyers Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said they planned to mount an “aggressive defense”.
In a joint statement, they 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.
“Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
Click here for more.
SOURCE: Daily Mail – Hana Carter