Police: ‘Empire’ Actor Staged Attack to ‘Promote His Career’

February 21, 2019, 3:06 pm EST | Share:

CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett, actor on the hit show “Empire,” staged a racist, anti-gay attacked on himself because he was unhappy about his salary and wanted to promote his career, according to Chicago’s police superintendent on Thursday, February 21st.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that before the attack, Smollett also sent a letter that threatened him to the studio where “Empire” is shot.

Police said that on Thursday, Smollett, who is black and gay, turned himself in to face the accusations that he filed a false police report last month telling authorities that he had been attacked in downtown Chicago by two men who hurled racists and anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck.

The actor “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson told reporters at a news conference.

“This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn and certainly didn’t deserve,” he added.

The FBI has been investigating the letter. Johnson would not say whether Smollett could face additional charges for that.

The companies that make “Empire,” Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television, issued a statement Thursday saying that they were “evaluating the situation” and “considering our options.”

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