Jussie Smollett turned himself in to police on Thursday after an arrest warrant was issued for him for staging his own attack at the end of January.
Throughout this entire ordeal, Smollett has maintained that he was innocent in the entire saga, and that he was nothing more than a victim of a homophobic and racially motivated attack. Now Page Six is reporting that Smollett told law enforcement after he was taken into custody on Thursday that he has an untreated drug problem.
This latest claim is only serving to confuse the issue more, because after he was released on a $100,000 bond, he visited the set of Empire to apologize for the situation, while still insisting he had nothing to do with the attack. The claim has some wondering whether Smollett is already setting up his defense to argue that he cannot be held accountable for any part he may have taken in staging the attack.
According to prosecutors familiar with the case, text messages discovered on the actor’s phone indicate that one of the brothers who Smollett accused of attacking him, Abimbola Osundairo, is actually his drug dealer. They believe that Abimbola has been selling Smollett “designer drugs” since April of 2018.
— The Sun (@TheSun) February 22, 2019
Despite having allegedly told police he has an untreated drug problem, Smollett answered “no” on legal forms that asked whether he had any alcohol or mental health issues.
Shortly after the January 29 attack, Smollett filed a report claiming he had been attacked near his Chicago home by two men who were shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him in between yelling “MAGA country.” He also reported that they tied him with a rope and poured what is believed to be bleach on him.
Authorities believe that Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to attack him.
He has now been charged with filing a false report, and could face up to three years in prison if he’s found guilty on the charges. Smollett has also been removed from Empire in upcoming episodes of the show, and there is talk that he could be replaced.
The attack came after a threatening letter was addressed to Smollett on the set of Empire, which is also speculated to have been sent by Smollett to himself to draw attention. After the letter failed to hit the news the way he wanted, he decided instead to stage the attack on himself with the help of the Osundairo brothers.