CHICAGO — Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
Johnson also said at a news conference Thursday that Smollett sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to himself at the Fox studio lot before the attack. He says Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary.
Smollett, who is accused of filing a false police report, was charged Wednesday with felony disorder conduct. He turned himself in at central booking early Thursday.
Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said they beat him, made racist and homophobic comments, poured some unknown chemical substance on him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing.
Police say the investigation shifted after they questioned two brothers who were in the area that morning.