'Empire' actor and R & B singer Jussie Smollett told Chicago police in January that he was attacking him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. Here are some key moments in the story:
– Smollett receives a racist and homophobic threatening letter at the Chicago studio where 'Empire' is filmed. Police later say they believe Smollett sent the letter himself.
– Jussie Smollett, police officer, arrives at the police station in 2am. The actor says the racial and homophobic slurs are wrapped around his neck and poured on 'unknown substance' on him. Police say Smollett, who is black and gay, told detectives the attackers yelled he was in 'MAGA country,' an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's 'Make America Great Again' campaign slogan.
– Chicago Police say they are watching the attack. Police obtain and release images of two people they would like to question, calling them 'persons of interest.'
– Smollett draws out support and support for him on social media from politicians and celebrities.
– Trump tells reporters at the White House that he will tell you the story of Smollett, saying 'It does not get worse, as far as I'm concerned.'
– Smollett's family issues a statement calling for a racial and homophobic hate crime. Smollett's family says it has never changed, 'disputing assertions leveled on social media that has not been cooperative and changed its story.
– Smollett issues a statement telling people's OK and thanking them for their support. He says he has been working with authorities and has been '100 percent factual and consistent on every level.'
– Smollett gives a concert in West Hollywood, California, opening with an emotional speech, saying he could not let his attackers win.
– Chicago police pick up two people at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport on their return from Nigeria. Police question the brothers and search the apartment where the men live.
– Chicago police said they were unconfirmed.
– Producers of 'Empire' dispute that Smollett's character, Jamal Lyons, is written off the show.
– Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielimi says the two 'persons of interest' are now considered suspects. He says the men – identified previously as two brothers from Nigeria – are in custody but have not been charged with a crime.
– Smollett and holding them for nearly 48 hours. – Chicago Police release the two men without charges after arresting them on suspicion of assaulting. A police spokesman says the two are no longer suspects and that investigators have new evidence to consider as a result of questioning them.
– Police say the investigation has 'shifted' after the two brothers about the attack and release them without charges. Police say they have a follow-up interview with Smollett. Smollett's lawyers say the actor feels 'victimized' by reporting that he plays a role in the assault.
– Smollett's account of what happened is some skepticism on social media in the wake of the new developments.
– The police say they are looking for a follow-up interview with Smollett after receiving new information. Guglielimi says she has reached out to Smollett's attorney, but has not been interviewed.
– Guglielimi declines to say that he's in the case, saying: 'We're not confirming, denying or commenting on anything until we can talk to him and we can corroborate some information that we've gotten.'
Smollett reported being attacked, he was in an elevator of his apartment building with two Nigerian brothers. Police later dismiss the tip, saying it's not credible based on video evidence.
– Chicago's top prosecutor, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx, recuses itself from the investigation. Her office says the decision is made in the case of impartiality based on familiarity with potential witnesses in the case. No details were provided. Foxx later says the reason for the recapitulation with a Smollett family member.
– Chicago police say he's a victim of a racist, homophobic attack downtown Chicago in January. Police say that two brothers who were questioned about the attack were before a grand jury and were demonstrating evidence to the grand jury.
– Chicago police say the State of Attorney has charged Smollett with disorderly conduct for filing a false report. Police detectives were contacting Smollett's attorneys to arrange his surrender for arrest.
– Chicago police say Smollett turned himself into a felony charge of disorderly conduct, which could bring up to three years in prison.
– Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Smollett staged a racist and homophobic attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Investigators say they have a $ 3,500 check that Smollett uses the two brothers to help him.
– Producers of 'Empire' say Jussie Smollett's character wants to be removed from the final two episodes of this season.
– A Cook County grand jury returns a 16-count indictment charging Smollett with falsely reporting to the public.
– Attorneys for 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett.