Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi announced via Twitter early Thursday morning that Smollett “is under arrest and in custody of detectives.”
Smollett turned himself into police at 5:15 a.m. local time and made a statement to police before being taken into custody. His lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, were not present at the time.
Authorities will hold a press briefing at 9 a.m. Central Time, according to Guglielmi.
Press Briefing: Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives. At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court. pic.twitter.com/9PSv8Ojec2
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
Smollett, who appears on the television drama series “Empire,” told police he was the victim of an alleged racist attack. He claims he was attacked by two masked men near his apartment in Chicago last month. He said they wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him. He told police the assailants yelled “MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make American Great Again” slogan.
While being questioned by investigators, the brothers claimed that Smollett paid them to help orchestrate and stage the crime after he became upset that a letter threatening him, sent Jan. 22 to the Fox studio where “Empire” is filmed, did not get enough attention, sources told ABC News.
A Chicago Police Department spokesman said not a single CPD resource used to solve murders or homicides was used for Smollett investigation.