There’s crying “wolf,” and then there’s shouting it repeatedly from the rooftops. Black, gay actor Jussie Smollett’s claim for staging a racist and anti-gay attack on him on a Chicago street was that a hate-filled letter he received on the set of “Empire” didn’t generate the outrage he thought it should have. Now it turns out he was not just the recipient of that letter but was involved in its creation.
CBS Chicago reports:
The two brothers involved in the … attack told police that Smollett was behind creating a racist letter that was sent to the actor on the set of his show, “Empire,” according to two sources with first-hand knowledge of the investigation.
The letter, which was mailed to Chicago’s Cinespace Studios where the show “Empire” is filmed, contained a white powder that prompted a HAZMAT response. Chicago Police later determined that the powder was aspirin.
The police have handed the investigation surrounding the letter over to the FBI since the use of the mail in the commission of a crime is a federal-level offense.
The CBS News article also notes the State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, has recused herself from the local case, which includes filing a false police report, although no reason is given for her actions.
If Smollett is indicted from his crimes, he could be facing a sentence ranging from probation to a year or two in county jail if charged with a misdemeanor. If the charge is a felony, he could be looking at as much as two to ten years in federal prison.