(Reuters) - Actor Jussie Smollett of TV’s “Empire” staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself as a publicity stunt because he was dissatisfied with his salary, Chicago police said on Thursday.
Here is a timeline of events leading up to his arrest:
Jan. 29 - Smollett, 36, tells police he was attacked at about 2 a.m. outside his apartment by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic abuse, put a noose around his neck, and poured an unknown substance over him. Smollett is black and openly gay. Police said they were treating the report as a possible hate crime.
Jan. 30 - Police say they are looking for two persons of interest and release an image from surveillance footage showing two men with their backs to the camera.
Jan. 31 - Smollett’s family release a statement in which they condemned the alleged assault on the actor, describing it as a “violent and unprovoked attack.”
Feb. 1 - In a statement, Smollett defended his account of the alleged attack as completely truthful, saying he was working with the authorities and that he had been “100 percent factual and consistent on every level.”
Feb. 2 - Smollett tells a concert in West Hollywood that was OK, and that his doctors had cleared him to perform at the show, which was scheduled before the alleged attack.
Feb. 13 - In an interview with ABC News that aired on “Good Morning America,” Smollett said he was angry that some people doubted his account of the alleged attack.
Feb. 15 - Chicago police said they arrested two Nigerian brothers in connection with the alleged assault. The brothers were arrested at the city’s O’Hare Airport.
Feb. 16 - Chicago police said they are seeking a follow-up interview with Smollett after releasing the two brothers and shifting the direction of the investigation.
Feb. 20 - Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct and filing a false police report and police said they were seeking to negotiate his surrender.
Feb. 21 - Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett staged the attack as a “publicity stunt” because he was dissatisfied with his salary on the TV show “Empire.”
Reporting by Reuters reporters; Editing by Matthew Lewis
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