Smollett Attack Was 'Publicity Stunt,' Top Cop Says

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A Chicago judge released Empire actor Jussie Smollett on $100,000 bail Thursday after his arrest on charges of falsely reporting to police he was the victim of a hate-motivated attack.

The actor is actually facing a serious charge, since the charge is a class 4 felony, which is punishable by up to 1.5 years in prison. Smollett was taken into custody this morning once authorities gathered enough evidence to charge him with filing a false report. "Why would anyone especially an African-American man use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations", Johnson said.

The Internet was quick to get off their jokes. Johnson referred to Smollett's case as a "publicity stunt".

But as questions began to emerge about Smollett's account, the three Democratic contenders faced uncomfortable questions about whether they were too quick to make a judgment and utter words of condemnation.

Johnson alleges that one of the reasons Smollett staged the attack was because he was unhappy about his salary.

Peep some of the reactions below.

Johnson said the two brothers were paid to punch the actor while wearing gloves, and the scratches on his face were likely self-inflicted.

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"I am beyond disappointed and extremely infuriated at Smollett's brazen, devious, and disgraceful behavior", Rush said in a statement.

Once they were outside Abel's apartment, Ola was "summoned" into Smollett's vehicle, where he detailed his plans, which involved the brothers attacking him but making sure they "not hurt him too badly".

The video shows Ola and Abel Osundairo in a store before the January 29 alleged attack buying a red hat and ski masks, WBBM-TV reported. Lanier revealed that Smollett was "close friends" with one of the men, Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo, who was "a source of designer drugs" for the "Empire" actor.

Johnson said Smollett hasn't made any statement to police since his arrest. Subsequent surveillance video was released showing the brothers items thought to have been used in the attack in a store. "I'm hoping that this incident does not diminish the real crisis that people face when they are discriminated against for being gay or for communities of color that are, that are discriminated against for racism". "Bogus police reports cause real harm".

CNN host Don Lemon - an early supporter of Smollett after initial reports of the alleged attack - said "in the court of public opinion, Jussie has lost - he's lost the fight in the court of public opinion, and that's where his battle is".

Bringing the Osundairo brothers before the grand jury accomplished at least two things, Pissetzky explained. On Thursday, he tweeted to Smollett: "What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and risky comments!?"