Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested for allegedly filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate-crime in Chicago, police said Thursday morning.

Smollett, 36, was charged with felony disorderly conduct Wednesday evening for allegedly lying to Chicago police on Jan. 29. In the report, the Empire actor, who is openly gay, said he was attacked by two masked men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him.

Smollett said the attackers out a noose around his neck and poured what he believed to be bleach over him.  He also claimed the masked men beat him and yelled “This is MAGA country” — an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — before fleeing.

He is under arrest and in custody of detectives, Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said on Twitter.

Smollett is due for a court bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. local time Thursday.

The offence the actor is charged with is an offence that could bring one to three years in prison and for Smollett to pay for the cost of the investigation.

Earlier Wednesday, Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television issued a statement saying Smollett “continues to be a consummate professional on set” and that his character is not being written off the show.

— With files from Reuters and the Associated Press

Global News
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