Jussie Smollett paid $3,500 to stage his attack, hoping to promote his career, Chicago police allege

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Musical Performer Jussie Smollett attends as Point Foundation hosts Annual Point Honors New York Gala Celebrating The Accomplishments Of LGBTQ Students at The Plaza Hotel on April 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Point Foundation)

Jussie Smollett paid two men $3,500 to stage an attack on himself last month, taking “advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said Thursday.

The “Empire” star was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of filing a false report about the January 29 incident. A 1:30 p.m. bail hearing is scheduled.

“Bogus police reports cause real harm,” Johnson told reporters in a news conference Thursday.

“I am offended by what’s happened and I’m also angry,” Johnson said.

Investigators believe Smollett staged the attack in part “because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Johnson said.

The attack did take place, but was staged, Johnson said. The two paid assailants punched him a little, wearing gloves, according to Johnson.

“As far as we can tell, the scratching and bruising that you saw on his (Smollett’s) face were most likely self-inflicted,” Johnson said.

Smollett hasn’t made any statements since he turned himself in Thursday morning.

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