Jussie Smollett staged hoax attack as 'publicity stunt ... to promote his career': Police

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Jussie Smollett staged hoax attack as 'publicity stunt … to promote his career': Police originally appeared on abcnews.go.com"data-reactid =" 15 ">Jussie Smollett staged hoax attack as 'publicity stunt … to promote his career': Police originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson blasted Jussie Smollett in an emotional press conference on Thursday in which he said he was a publicity stunt … to promote his career. "" data-reactid = "16"> Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson blasted Jussie Smollett in an emotional press conference on Thursday in which he said "Smollett's alleged staging of a hoax attack was a publicity stunt … to promote his career."

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "" Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career, "Johnson said." Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of noose to make false accusations ? … "" data-reactid = "17"> "Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career, "Johnson said." Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of noose to make false accusations? How do you go wrong? "How can I be an individual who has been embraced by the city?

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Johnson charged that Smollett, an actor on the hit show 'Empire' who has consistently denied any role in the "attack", he was "dissatisfied with his salary." "data-reactid =" 18 "> Johnson charged that Smollett, an actor on the show hit 'Empire' who has consistently denied any role in staging the alleged attack, orchestrated it because he was "dissatisfied with his salary."

In addition to staging the attack, Smollett also felt himself a hate-filled letter to the Fox study where the hit show is filmed.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Smollett turned himself in at 5:15 am. local time and made a statement to police before being taken into custody. His lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, were not present at the time but they released a statement the night before"data-reactid =" 20 "> Smollett turned himself in at 5:15 am local lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson released a statement the night before.

Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, especially when he / she has been investigated. to mount an aggressive defense. "

Police add that Smollett gave his name to the police officer after turning him into lawyer's office. Smollett wanted to turn himself in near midnight, but authorities suggested he is in at 5 a.m. instead, to avoid spending the night in jail. Smollett arrived early Thursday morning accompanied by a female lawyer and an entourage of five or six people.

Smollett was silent as he went through the motions of being booked and processed.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "(MORE: How Jussie Smollett relentlessly defended his story against a storm of skepticism)"data-reactid =" 24 "> (MORE: How Jussie Smollett relentlessly defended his story against a storm of skepticism)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "By late morning on Thursday, the backlash with the angry tweet from the President of the United States. "data-reactid =" 25 "> By late morning on Thursday, the backlash against the actor the President of the United States.

". @ JussieSmollett – what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments !? #MAGA" President Donald Trump wrote in a tweet after the press conference.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "In an earlier interview with ABC News, Smollett was asked why he thought he was targeted, and he was replied that he was a strident critic of the Trump administration. "Data-reactid =" 27 " and he replied that he is a strident critic of the Trump administration.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "" I come really really hard against 45, " h said. referring to Trump, the 45th U.S. president. "I come really hard against 45," he said, and I do not hold my tongue. "" Data-reactid = "28" "I really do not have my tongue."

Thursday morning, Chicago law enforcement officials said that police detective interviewed more than 100 people and reviewed dozens of police cameras trying to get the bottom of Smollett's claims.

Johnson, a well-regarded and popular city police chief and Chicago native, appeared genuinely aggrieved as he described, he said, Smollett took advantage of the pain of racism to advance his career.

"Why would anyone use the symbol of a noose" to further his own public profile, "Johnson wondered aloud.

"I'm offended by what happened and I'm angry," Johnson continued. "This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago did not own and certainly did not deserve."

Johnson, who oversees one of the nation's largest police departments, apparently disheartened by the attention paid to the Smollett affair.

"The accusation within this phony attack received national attention for weeks," Johnson told reporters during a press conference. "Celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor."

"When you get the opportunity," he said with a mixture of derision and frustration, "the shooting victims and their families?"

PHOTO: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks about the Jussie Smollett at Chicago news conference Police headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, Feb. 21, 2019. (Joshua Lott / Reuters)

After the press briefing, 20th Century Fox, the station that airs "Empire," released a statement which read, "We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect our legal options. "

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "(MORE: Timeline of the alleged Jussie Smollett attack investigation)"data-reactid =" 54 "> (MORE: Timeline of the alleged Jussie Smollett attack investigation)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men near his apartment in Chicago. The two men, Smollett at the beginning, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him. The alleged assailants yelled "MAGA country," a reference to President Donald Trump's "Make American Great Again" slogan, police were told. "Data-reactid =" 55 "> Smollett said he was attacked by two masked men The two men, Smollett at the beginning, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at the end of the assailants yelled "MAGA country," a reference to President Donald Trump's " Make American Great Again "slogan, police were told.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "(MORE: 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett shares powerful message to LGBTQ community after suspected hate crime)"data-reactid =" 56 "> (MORE: 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett shares powerful message to LGBTQ community after suspected hate crime)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "In an interview with "Good Morning America" ​​anchor Robin Roberts, Smollett said he was heartbroken when he found out that people questioned his story. "Data-reactid =" 57 "> In an interview with" Good Morning America "anchor Robin Roberts, Smollett said he was heartbroken when he found out that people questioned his story.

Asked why he wanted to go to police.

He told Roberts. "I was looking at myself. I kept the clothes on, I kept the rope on me. 't, like, wrapped around.But, yeah, it was around because I wanted them to see. "

Asked for the assailants yelled "MAGA country" at the beginning of the insinuation.

"For me, the main thing was the idea that I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing," Smollett said on ABC News. They called me to f —-, they called me to n —-. There's no way you cut it. "

Johnson said on Thursday that Smollett's seeming injuries from the incident also appeared to be phony.

"The brothers had on the gloves and they punched him a little bit.

PHOTO: Jussie Smollett is pictured in a police mugshot (Chicago Police Dept.)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "(MORE: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett with felony disorderly conduct for filing false report after allegedly staging attack: Police)"data-reactid =" 75 "> (MORE: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett charged with felony disorderly for filing false report after allegedly staging attack: Police)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Police identified and questioned two "persons of interest" captured on surveillance video "Date-reactid =" 76 "> Police-related and questioned two" persons of interest ", were arrested on Feb. surveillance of the scenes around the time of the alleged attack The men, who are brothers, were arrested on Feb. 13 but they were released without charges, with police saying they were no longer considered suspects.

PHOTO: Jussie Smollett attends an 'Empire' event in Los Angeles, May 20, 2016. (Invision / AP, FILE)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "While being questioned by investigators, the brothers claimed that Smollett paid them to help orchestrated and stage the crime after he became upset that to a letter threatening him, sent Jan. 22 to the Fox studio where "Empire" is filmed, data did not get attention enough, sources told ABC News. "data-reactid =" 88 "> While being questioned by investigators , the brothers claimed that Smollett paid them to help orchestrated and stage the crime after he became upset that to letter threatening him, sent Jan. 22 to the Fox studio where "Empire" is filmed, did not get enough attention, sources told ABC News .

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "On Wednesday, Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing to false crime report. By that evening, officially classified as the suspect in the ongoing investigation. Detectives presented presented to Cook County grand jury. "Data-reactid =" 89 "> On Wednesday, Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false crime report in the ongoing investigation: Detectives presented presented to Cook County grand jury.

"That was a pretty hateful allegation," Guglielmi told ABC WLS station in a telephone interview Thursday morning. "Chicago trusted this young man." We loved "Empire," and we took this very seriously "

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "ABC News' Monica Escobedo, Michael Rothman, Andy Fies, Will Gretsky and Stephanie. Wash contributed to this report."data-reactid =" 91 ">ABC News' Monica Escobedo, Michael Rothman, Andy Fies, Will Gretsky and Stephanie. Wash contributed to this report.

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