On Thursday morning, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was arrested on felony charges for staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself last month. Shortly after the arrest, Chicago police stood before the press to explain how the investigation transitioned from a hateful incident to a hoax.
During the press conference, Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett orchestrated the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on the hit show, ‘Empire.”
Johnson said it all started with the letter, which Smollett reportedly sent to himself. But, when the letter did not help boost his pay, he coughed up $3,500 to stage the racist and homophobic attack.
“This announcement today recognizes that ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson said. “Why would anyone, especially an African American use a noose…to further his public profile?”
“It’s shameful,” he said of the motive behind the staged incident. “It’s just despicable ..it makes you wonder what’s going on in someone’s mind to be able to do something like that.”
“I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention,” he added, as he detailed the manpower it took to cover the case.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Johnson said no homicide or shooting investigations were affected by the case, but “those are the resources and time spent that we’ll never get back.”
Smollett is expected to appear for a bond hearing later today.