The Empire star, who claimed he was the subject of a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago on Jan. 29, was charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, Anthony Guglielmi, Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Police Department, revealed on Wednesday.
ET has learned that a bond court hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. In a statement to ET, Smollett's attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson 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."
Fans and former supporters of Smollett's took to Twitter on Wednesday night to react to the news. While some still said they believed the actor's story, others are calling him out for possibly making things harder for actual hate crime victims. See what the internet had to say below:
This Jussie Smollett story is pretty disappointing. Not only cause it’s a shitty stupid thing to do, but all he has done is make it more difficult for future hate crime victims to have their stories believed and validated.
Ugh. I'm sad about the whole Jussie Smollett thing. Obviously I'm happy the crime didn't actually happen, but I'm sad that we've apparently reached a point where victimhood is so virtuous that you'd risk absolutely everything to gain it.
If Jussie Smollett lied, he does need to go to jail and his career and role in empire should be cut. There are real people out here going through real life abuse, hate crimes and harassment. This isn’t fair to the people who actually tell the TRUTH about their stories.
MAGA folks DEMANDING an apology for believing Jussie Smollett, I don’t owe you anything. Jussie might. I hate to tell you, but I can be disappointed, saddened & angry at Jussie for hurting the cause; and still think MAGA supporters are trash. The two are not mutually exclusive.
The charge against Smollett came just hours after Guglielmi shared that Smollett was classified as a suspect in the case, following the Chicago Police Department's weeks-long investigation.
CBS News reported on Saturday that Nigerian brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo -- who were previously arrested last week and then released without charges -- claimed to police after their home was raided that Smollett knows them and further alleged that the actor "paid them to participate in the alleged attack." Smollett has vehemently denied this accusation through his lawyers. According to the brothers' attorney, Ola worked as an extra on Empire in season two, while Abel was Smollett's personal trainer.