Smollett Arrested

Jussie Smollett is under arrest and facing felony charges for allegedly falsifying police report, according to Tom Ahern, deputy director of news affairs and communications for the Chicago Police Department.

Chicago police said Smollett staged the attack over an Empire salary dispute and rehearsed it with his attackers beforehand.

CNN reported after Smollett had appeared in court Thursday (Feb. 21) and made bail—which was set at $100,000—that his attorneys plan to mount a vigorous defense.

Ahern tweeted the news early Thursday after the Cook County State's Attorney's Office charged the Empire actor late Wednesday, only hours after he had been named a suspect.


Smollett had said he was the subject of a racially motivated attack, prompting calls for FBI investigations and shows of support from within and without the Hollywood community.

The President tweeted about the arrest—Smollett had said his racist attackers had said, threateningly, that this was "MAGA [Make America Great Again] country."


John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.