Police in Chicago have opened an internal investigation into the Jussie Smollett case, after “inaccurate” information about the Empire star’s attack was leaked.
Smollett claimed he was the victim of a hate crime outside his Chicago apartment, in January (19) telling police officers two white men beat him up and tied a noose around his neck while yelling homophobic and racial slurs.
Following a lengthy investigation by Chicago police, the actor is now facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report in the hope the hoax would boost his career and salary. It’s claimed he paid two Nigerian brothers to attack him – allegations Smollett has strenuously denied.
During the investigation, numerous pieces of information made their way into the media, and it’s these leaks that have prompted the Chicago P.D.’s new investigation.
“I would like to point out that a lot of the information out there was inaccurate and there were numerous agencies involved in this investigation,” a spokesperson for the force said in a statement. “As a standard procedure when there are allegations of information being leaked, an internal investigation has been opened and we are also looking at our vulnerabilities.”
Smollett is next due in court on 14 March to face the disorderly conduct felony charge.
Following his arrest, Smollett posted bail and returned to the set of hit TV show Empire, where he reportedly apologised to his co-stars and the crew and insisted he was innocent.
However, executive producers of the show, including co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, decided to cut his character from the last episodes of season five while they await the next developments in the criminal process.