Anthony Guglielmi, Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Police Department, revealed the news on Twitter on Wednesday, following the department's weeks-long investigation. Smollett has maintained he was a victim and did not orchestrate the Jan. 29 attack.
"Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury," the tweet reads.
Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury. pic.twitter.com/FhDcbBKsuU
On Saturday, CBS News reported that Nigerian brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo -- who were previously arrested 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.
Charlie de Mar of CBS affiliate WBBM told ET on Tuesday that per his sources, the brothers told detectives that they rehearsed the attack with Smollett a few days before the incident. Sources also claimed that the actor paid them $3,500 for the alleged attack. De Mar said he spoke with Abel and Ola on Monday, and they told him they would never commit a hate crime, insisting, "We are not racist. We are not homophobic."
Smollett, however, stands by his story that he's a victim of a homophobic and racist attack, which was not orchestrated by him. His attorneys, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, told ET: "He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack."