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‘Organized law enforcement spectacle:’ Jussie Smollett's attorneys plan ‘aggressive defense’

Lawyers for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett say the Chicago Police Department is putting on an "organized law enforcement spectacle."

News 12 Staff

Feb 22, 2019, 10:41 AM

Updated 1,947 days ago

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‘Organized law enforcement spectacle:’ Jussie Smollett's attorneys plan ‘aggressive defense’
Lawyers for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett say the Chicago Police Department is putting on an "organized law enforcement spectacle."

Smollett, 38, walked out of a police station Thursday after posting bail.
He originally said he was jumped and beaten up by two men who shouted homophobic and racial slurs, but according to prosecutors, Smollett paid two brothers $3,500 in a check to stage the attack.
Prosecutors say he staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary.
"Smollett also instructed the brothers not to bring their cell phones with them,” says Risa Lanier, with the Cook County State Attorney's Office. “Smollett directed the brothers' attention towards a surveillance camera on the corner, which he believed would capture the incident. Defendant Smollett further detailed that he wanted Abel to attack him, but not hurt him too badly, and to give him a chance to appear to fight back.”

Smollett's attorneys say they plan to mount an "aggressive defense" against his disorderly conduct charge.
If the actor is found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.
Meanwhile, some experts see the allegations he orchestrated an attack designed to look like a hate crime as a potentially fatal blow to his career.
The charges hasn't yet slowed down his Hollywood career. Immediately after his release on bond Thursday, Smollett was whisked to the set of "Empire."
Some in Hollywood are not yet abandoning him, though others say it will be difficult for the actor to re-emerge.
Crisis communications specialist Eden Gillott says society has become more unforgiving of misbehavior by public figures, and she says the charges against Smollett "could be a career killer."
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.


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