Police say actor Smollett staged Chicago attack to advance career

Jussie Smollett

CHICAGO,  (Reuters) – Actor Jussie Smollett paid two brothers thousands of dollars to beat him in a staged racist and homophobic attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the hip-hop TV drama “Empire,” Chicago’s police chief said yesterday.

Smollett, who is black and openly gay, was arrested yesterday and charged with lying to police about the alleged attack on Jan. 29. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was visibly angered as he condemned his actions.

Police did not spell out how the 36-year-old actor hoped to boost his salary by staging the supposed attack by supporters of President Donald Trump. “Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson told a news conference, adding that the actor paid $3,500 to the brothers to stage the supposed hate crime.

“This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with this salary. He concocted a story about being attacked,” Johnson said. “We gave him the benefit of the doubt.”….

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