Jussie Smollett Cut From Last Two Episodes of ‘Empire’

Police: US actor Jussie Smollett staged racist attack 'to promote career'

Smollett faces up to three years in prison if convicted in the case, which fuelled political divisions that have roiled the U.S. since Donald Trump's 2016 election.

On Thursday night, he went straight to the show's set in Chicago after posting bail and apologized to his colleagues but maintained his innocence.

Smollett surrendered himself to police on Thursday morning.

Smollett's attorneys asked that the actor be freed on his own recognizance, but Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. rejected that idea. On Wednesday, they said they were conducting a thorough investigation to form an aggressive defense. He claimed they used racist and homophobic slurs during the attack, covered him in an "unknown chemical substance", and left him with rope around his neck.

"(W) hat about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and unsafe comments!?" the president posted.

Early Thursday, before official charges had been made against Smollett, Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV stood by the actor, saying he continued "to be a consummate professional on set" and assuring that "he is not being written out of the show".

After Smollett appeared in court and had his bond set at $100,000, prosecutors released a four-page summary of his alleged actions. Smollett also took officers to the scene of the "crime" and pointed to a surveillance camera, thinking that the "attack" had been recored.

More news: ‘Empire’s’ Jussie Smollett arrested and faces a felony charge

Johnson told reporters that Smollett had first tried to gain attention by sending himself a threatening letter filled with "racial, homophobic and political language". They, however, told investigators they were paid to take part in a hoax.

Lawyers for Smollett did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Prosecutors said one of the brothers had supplied Smollett with "designer drugs" in the past. At hour 47 - one hour before police had to either charge the men or release them - Johnson said the two confessed to what they had done.

Smollett has been active in LBGTQ issues, and initial reports of the assault drew outrage and support for him on social media. Others were sceptical of the incident, which Smollett said occurred around 2 a.m. on a Chicago street during one of the city's coldest weeks in recent history. Police questioned the men and searched their apartment.

They called the allegations that Mr Smollett had falsely claimed he was the victim of a hate crime "disturbing".

"It's depressing. It's a disgusting affront to actual victims of hate crimes".

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