Jussie Smollett returns to work on 'Empire'

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked", Pugh and Henderson said in a statement given to PEOPLE on Wednesday. The judge granted a $100,000 bail, and Smollett paid a $10,000 bond. Prosecutors say that Smollett led authorities on a wild goose chase after he described his alleged attackers as two white men wearing ski masks, red MAGA caps and shouted racial and homophobic slurs at the Empire actor.

February 12: Smollett's representatives clarified that he had redacted some information from his phone records before turning them over to police to protect the privacy of people unrelated to the alleged attack.

The announcement came a day after Smollett turned himself in to police, appeared in court on a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, and left jail after posting bond. He has claimed that he was the victim of an assault in the early morning hours of January 29 in Chicago, stating two men hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, beat him, poured bleach on him, and placed a rope around his neck.

February 11: Police said the "limited and redacted" phone records they received from Smollett had proved insufficient for a criminal investigation.

"Smollett also instructed the brothers not to bring their cell phones with them", says Risa Lanier, with the Cook County State Attorney's Office. The sources added to TMZ that some cast and crew members still believe Smollett's story.

Meanwhile, his legal team released as statement on social media, calling him "a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence".

"I think there were so many people, including a lot of leadership from the Democratic Party, everybody from Nancy Pelosi, Cory Booker, and a number of others, that quickly came out and attacked the president, blamed the president", Sanders told Fox News' "Fox and Friends."

During a press conference on Thursday morning, the Chicago PD stated they believed Smollett staged the attack because he was "dissatisfied with his salary" on "Empire".

Following the highly publicized arrest, the network said they were "evaluating the situation" and "considering [their] options". His next hearing is scheduled for March 14.


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