The other shoe has dropped for ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett.
Or perhaps it’s more fitting to say the other MAGA hat has dropped.
Chicago police have charged him with felony disorderly conduct after they say he filed a fake police report saying he was attacked by two masked men.
According to department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office approved the felony charge on Wednesday afternoon. It’s a Class 4 felony that carries a possible prison sentence of 1-3 years, but he could also receive probation.
Two men who allegedly took part in the scheme testified before a grand jury for two hours, saying they did take money from him.
Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo apparently did not testify as part of any plea deal with prosecutors, and officials said that the two were not granted any immunity from prosecution.
The testimony came after the brothers were released from custody by police, who told reporters they were no longer suspects.
Chicago’s top prosecutor recused herself from the Jussie Smollett investigation earlier today. Her spokeswoman says it’s because Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had had conversations with one of the “Empire” actor’s family members and had also “facilitated a connection” with the police department.
Foxx’s first assistant, Joe Magats, is now overseeing the case.
After the police department investigated Smollett’s attack for weeks as a possible hate crime, they discovered that one of the brothers bought the rope to be used in the attack at a local hardware store. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the store was the Crafty Beaver hardware store in Ravenswood.
Smollet’s story has unraveled and people using it for political gain have been rapidly retracting tweets.
The actor told the police he was walking on the 300 block of East North Water Street in Streeterville about 2 a.m. on Jan. 29 when two unknown men walked up and attacked him, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, hit him in the face, poured a chemical substance on him and then put a rope around his neck.
In the meantime, Fox Television says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett “continues to be a consummate professional on set” and it has reiterated that he’s not being written out of the show. No word on whether this charges will change that. Earlier today, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment issued a statement after reports that Smollett’s role on the show was being slashed amid police investigations into the actor’s report of the alleged attack.