Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report. He is expected in court on Thursday at 1:30PM CT.

From CBS Chicago:

Disorderly conduct is a Class 4 Felony. CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller says Smollett could face probation to up to 1.5 years in prison.

He is expected in bond court tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.

Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest, according to a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department.

Smollett’s attorneys released the following statement following the charge:

“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”

Detectives presented evidence before a Cook County grand jury, police say.

Previous Reporting

The Chicago Police Department has officially named Empire actor Jussie Smollett “as a suspect in a criminal investigation” in the city “for filing a false police report.”

Smollett said two white men attacked him in January. The men poured bleach on him, placed a noose around his neck, and screamed, “This is MAGA country!”

His story unraveled every day since then. Sources poured out information to local media that investigators believed Smollett paid brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo to attack him.

CBS Chicago obtained video of the brothers purchasing the items used in the alleged attack.

More from CBS Chicago:

The Osundairos were arrested last week, but later released without charges.

Sources have said the two brothers told police they helped stage the attack with Smollett. They said they were paid $3,500 to pour a chemical on the actor, and place a rope around his neck, while yelling racist and homophobic slurs.

The two brothers told police Smollett also was behind creating a racist letter sent to the show, according to two sources with first-hand knowledge of the investigation.

When that letter did not get a “bigger reaction,” Smollett orchestrated the attack a week later with the two men, sources said.

The Chicago Tribune has more on that letter:

A week before he says he was attacked by two men yelling slurs, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett reported receiving a small white envelope addressed to him in a thick red scrawl at the Fox production studios on the West Side.

Smollett told police he and the show’s executive producer used gloves to open the envelope. Inside was a sheet of white paper with a threat in cut-out letters: “You will die black fag.” There was white powder in the envelope, but it was later determined to be crushed acetaminophen, a pain reliever found in Tylenol, police said.

Witnesses told police a postal worker dropped off the letter. It was postmarked in southwest suburban Bedford Park on Jan. 18, four days earlier, and bore two American flag stamps. The letters MAGA were written, also in red ink, in the upper-left corner of the envelope.

The FBI crime lab has possession of the letter for analysis.

 
 
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