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Jussie Smollett charged with a felony for racist attack hoax

It was pretty clear where this was heading

Jussie Smollett performs onstage at Troubadour on Feb. 2 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for ABA)

Actor Jussie Smollett was charged with a felony Wednesday evening for allegedly filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack at the hands of Trump supporters in Chicago, according to WLS-TV.

The "Empire" actor has been charged with felony disorderly conduct, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

"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," Smollett's attorneys said in a statement. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

Chicago police say they will reach out to Smollett's legal representatives to "negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest." He is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. local time Thursday.

The charges come on the same day that surveillance video from a beauty supply store in Chicago showed two men, the Osundairo brothers, connected to Smollett buying red hats, ski masks and gloves the day before the alleged attack. The two men are Smollett's personal trainer and a man who has appeared on "Empire." They told police Smollett paid them to carry out the attack.

This situation has been trending toward these charges for days now. Tuesday, news broke that the FBI was investigating a threatening letter sent to Smollett at the studios where "Empire" is shot. Investigators believe Smollett may be responsible for sending the letter to himself.

The Osundairo brothers said Smollett paid them to stage the attack after the letter did not get enough attention.

One last thing…
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