Police: Jussie’s Motive for Staging Hoax Attack — Get Pay Raise!
‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett staged a fake attack on himself because he was “dissatisfied with his salary,” Chicago police say. Smollett was receiving a paltry $65,000 per episode for his role on the TV series.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a news conference Friday morning that the actor “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.” Johnson accused the actor of committing a crime “to further his own profile.” He said Smollett had betrayed the city of Chicago, and said “this publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn and certainly didn’t deserve.”
Smollett is charged with filing a false police report after he said he was the victim of a homophobic attack.
Police say he also had sent a racist letter to himself at a Fox studio.
The 36-year-old star of the TV series ‘Empire’ paid two Nigerian brothers $3,500 to stage the attack. Ola and Abel Osundairo are now both cooperating with the investigation. Police said on Thursday that some minor scrapes on Smollett’s face were likely self-inflicted.
On Wednesday. Smollett’s lawyers said they would “mount an aggressive defense.” Celebrity defense attorney Mark Geragos has reportedly been hired to be part of the actor’s legal team.