Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to criticise Empire star Jussie Smollett after he turned himself into police after facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly faking his own attack.
The actor was attacked by two masked men in late January, with reports claiming that he was attacked before a noose was placed around his neck and bleach poured onto his face.
But while the incident was originally treated as a “hate crime”, Smollett has now been charged with filing a false police report – amid claims that he orchestrated the attack himself.
Chicago Police denied Smollett’s involvement last week, but he has now turned himself into police after facing charges of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.
Trump has also now waded in on the incident writing: “What about MAGA [Make America Great Again] and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019
Earlier, Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi confirmed Smollett has officially been confirmed as a suspect in a statement posted on Twitter.
Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest. pic.twitter.com/LvBSYE2kVj
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
“Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” he wrote.
Police have since given a further update alleging that Smollett staged his own attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson claimed the US actor “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” before alleging Smollett paid $3,500 (£2,600) to two brothers to stage the supposed hate crime.
He continued: “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with this salary. He concocted a story about being attacked. We gave him the benefit of the doubt.”
Superintendent Johnson also alleged that Smollett sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to the Fox studio where he works in the city before the alleged attack.
JUST IN: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson: Jussie Smollett "paid $3,500 to stage this attack…The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary." https://t.co/5AiMcfe6iH pic.twitter.com/0za7CEbVtv
— ABC News (@ABC) February 21, 2019
Responding to the arrest in a statement, Jessie’s representatives wrote: “Like any other citizen, Mr Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked.
“Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
The star was originally re-arrested by police after two men were arrested without charge.
A representative for the star has also denied claims that he orchestrated the attack.
“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.
“He has now been further victimised by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”