Chicago authorities have said openly gay Empire actor Jussie Smollett is now officially a suspect in a criminal investigation, WGNTV.com reported.
In a Feb. 20 tweet from Chicago Police Department's Anthony Guglielmi, he said, "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."
Smollett claimed he was attacked in a hate-motivated crime Jan. 29 in Streeterville. However, Ola and Abel Osundairothe two brothers involved in said attacktold detectives the three men ( including Smollett ) rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening, and that the actor paid them $3,500.
More than a decade ago, Smollett pled no contest to providing false information to law enforcement in a 2007 misdemeanor case. The case stems from a DUI stop in which Smollett gave police the wrong name.
Also, news came in Feb. 20 that Smollett has added high-profile Mark Geragos to his defense team, CBS 2 Chicago reported. (Geragos' client list includes superstar Michael Jackson, actor Winona Ryder, and music figures Chris Brown and Sean "Diddy" Combs.) Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson will still lead the team.
UPDATE: On Feb. 21, Smollett turned himself in to authorities, The Chicago Tribune reported. He is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing later in the day.
If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail and could be ordered to pay for the cost of the investigation.
The WGNTV.com item is at wgntv.com/2019/02/20/jussie-smollett-case-heres-what-we-know-now/. The Tribune item is at www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-jussie-smollet-arrest-20190221-story.html.