LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Police are expected to arrest “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in a criminal investigation into an alleged attack on the actor last month, CBS News reported Wednesday night.
According to CBS News’ David Begnaud, Chicago police are now arranging for the Smollett’s arrest on a felony charge of disorderly conduct “based on evidence that police say shows he filed a false police report”.
Detectives told CBS News they would make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest. The Associated Press said police do not have a time frame for how long Smollett would be given.
“We are trying to be diplomatic and reasonable, and we’re hoping he does the same,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told AP.
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi announced Wednesday afternoon that Smollett is “officially classified as a suspect” for filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony.
Earlier this afternoon, CBS Chicago obtained exclusive video of two men linked to the attack on Smollett buying a red hat and ski masks from a store the day before the assault.
According to CBS Chicago’s Charlie De Mar, the video shows Ola and Abel Osundairo placing the masks and a hat on the counter.
Smollett has claimed two men wearing a similar hat and masks attacked him on Jan. 29 in Streeterville, according to police. made multiple phone calls and visited several stores to obtain the video.
In a statement provided to CBS, Smollet’s attorneys said: “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 mount an aggressive defense.”
Smollett has also reportedly hired Los Angeles-based attorney Mark Geragos as part of his legal team.
Geragos’ previous high-profile clients have included pop star Michael Jackson, singers Chris Brown and Sean “Diddy” Combs, and actress Winona Ryder.
CBS Chicago reports Smollett is expected to appear in bond court Thursday.