Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File

Police: Smollett Sent Racist Letter to Himself

February 21, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett "took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career."

Johnson also said at a news conference Thursday that Smollett sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to himself at the Fox studio lot before the attack. He says Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary.

Smollett, who is accused of filing a false police report, was charged Wednesday with felony disorder conduct. He turned himself in at central booking early Thursday. 

Related: Smollett Developments Leave Some Baffled, Others Outraged

The charge could bring up to three years in prison. It could also force the actor, who's black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating.


Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said they beat him, made racist and homophobic comments, poured some unknown chemical substance on him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing.

Police say the investigation shifted after they questioned two brothers who were in the area that morning.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)