- Jussie Smollett was recently charged with falsifying a police report about a racist and homophobic attack he says happened against him.
- A spokesman for Chicago Police said Smollett staged the attack as a “publicity stunt” motivated by unhappiness with how much he was earning.
- A “well-placed source” told a HuffPost reporter that Smollett was paid $US65,000 per episode for his co-starring role on “Empire.” But The Hollywood Reporter places his salary at $US125,000 per episode.
The actor was arrested on the charge after surrendering to authorities, as INSIDER confirmed Thursday morning. A spokesman for Chicago police said Smollett staged the attack as a “publicity stunt,” motivated by unhappiness with how much he was earning on Fox’s popular TV series “Empire.”
A “well-placed source” told HuffPost reporter Yashar Ali that Smollett waspaid $US65,000 per episode for his co-starring role on the most recent season of “Empire.” But The Hollywood Reporter places Smollett’s salart at $US125,000 per episode. On average, HuffPost noted, there are 18 episodes of “Empire” per season.
A Fox representative declined to comment on Smollett’s compensation for “Empire.”
Scoop: A well-placed source familiar with his comp tells me @JussieSmollett was being paid $65,000 per episode for his co-starring role on Empire. Average season has 18 episodes. Police say his dissatisfaction with his salary let him to stage this hoax. https://t.co/FuDas9AcN8
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) February 21, 2019
As INSIDER previously reported, police Supt. Eddie Johnson called Smollett’s alleged actions a slap in the face to the city of Chicago at a briefing Tuesday morning. He said Smollett tried to take advantage of discrimination faced by African-Americans and LGBT people to gain publicity.
Johnson said that he was “offended” and “angry” and said that Smollett manipulated the “hurt and suffering” to increase his profile and because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.”
Smollett will appear in court later on Thursday.
The actor, who’s black and gay and plays a gay character on the Fox show, said he was attacked by two masked men who beat him and hurled racist and anti-gay slurs. He said that they looped a rope around his neck and shouted “This is MAGA country” – an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan – before they fled.
The charges against Smollett, 36, emerged on the same day that detectives and two brothers who were previously deemed suspects – and later cleared – testified about the case before a grand jury.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a press briefing that Smollett paid the two brothers $US3,500 to stage the attack, as reported by HuffPost.
This story was updated to include THR’s reporting.
- Read more:
- Chicago Police laid into Jussie Smollett after his arrest, saying he made up a homophobic attack as a ‘publicity stunt’ because he wanted a bigger salary
- Chicago police released ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett’s mug shot
- Cardi B says that she is ‘really disappointed’ in Jussie Smollett following reports that he may have staged his alleged attack
- Jussie Smollett says doubters would have believed he was assaulted if he had said the attackers were Muslim, Mexican, or black
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