After Empire actor Jussie Smollett was arrested on felony charges of disorderly conduct for filing a false report on an alleged hate crime assault last month, Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson angrily explained that Smollett apparently orchestrated the attack in an effort to get a bump in salary.
In a press conference after Smollett turned himself into police Thursday morning, Johnson noted that the accusations of the “phony attack received national attention for weeks.” After pointing out that celebrities and presidential candidates commented on something that was “choreographed” by the actor, Johnson said that Smollett decided to create the hoax after an earlier attempt to gain attention failed.
“First, Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language,” Johnson stated, referencing a letter that was sent to the Empire set last month that threatened the actor for being black and gay.
He continued: “When that didn’t work Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud in the process. And why? The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary. So he concocted a story about being attacked.”
Later on in the press conference, Johnson said that the entire department was “pissed off” when they discovered Smollett’s motive behind the attack because they had to “invest valuable resources” into investigating the alleged assault.
Smollett is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday afternoon for a bond hearing. His attorneys have maintained that he did nothing wrong.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.