Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett was arrested early Thursday, accused of falsely reporting to police that he was the victim of a hate-crime attack in Chicago, investigators said.
Smollett faces felony criminal charges for disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. The charges stem from a Jan. 29 report in which Smollett, 36, said attackers poured what he believed was bleach all over his body and put a noose around his neck while making slurs about his race and sexuality.
Chicago police scheduled a media briefing for 9 a.m. CST to discuss the case. Smollett was due in court for a bond hearing 1:30 p.m. CST.
His fellow Empire cast members and gay rights advocates had defended the actor. His story began to unravel as detectives were unable to corroborate certain aspects of the report.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told NBC News the investigation into Smollett’s assault took “considerable” police resources, with 12 detectives working the case. At one point, two men were taken into custody as potential persons of interest. The men, who are brothers, were released two days later without charges.