Smollett "concocted a story about being attacked", Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said, calling the actor's story "bogus" and describing his conduct as "shameful". Police haven't described a motive. At the time of the announcement, Chicago authorities were said to be in contact with Smollett's legal team to "negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest". No video of the alleged attack has been found.
Zach Stafford, the editor-in-chief of LGBTQ magazine The Advocate, joined MSNBC's Kasie Hunt and Al Sharpton on Thursday to discuss Smollett - who faces up to three years in prison.
The felony charge emerged on the same day detectives and the two brothers testified before a grand jury. He said police were treating Smollett like a victim until then. Police say the brothers participated for the money and are not considered suspects. It could also force the actor, who's black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a 29 January beating. Per Smollett, the men also referenced "MAGA", or President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan, during the incident. The FBI is now reportedly investigating the letter. When that stunt failed to receive attention, Smollett orchestrated the attack by paying two brothers he knew $3,500 to assault him while getting food around 2 a.m. Police questioned the men and searched their apartment.More news: Tom Watson: racist bullies drove Luciana out of the Labour Party
More news: Putin threatens to target USA 'decision-making centers' if missiles deployed
More news: Several skiers buried in Swiss avalanche
The brothers were later released without charges after they decided, along with their attorneys, to cooperate with police. "As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with", they said in a statement. The actor released his debut album, "Sum of My Music", past year. But regardless of how it all went down, this case and the perceptions it gave rise to may have real-life consequences for LGBTQ people of color who may be victims of hate crimes.
One of the men has appeared on "Empire", Guglielmi said.
"We have the phone records that clearly indicate that they talked to each other quite a bit", Johnson said. "You don't need immunity when you have the truth", she said. Kamala Harris of California and TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.