Hate Hoax Update: 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Lied to Police in 2007

Jussie Smollett (by: zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx via AP)

Empire star Jussie Smollett, who seems to have orchestrated a hate hoax in Chicago, has a history of lying to the police. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office said Smollett lied to police by giving a false name during a 2007 DUI stop.

“The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office said that Smollett gave police a false name during a DUI stop; this more than a decade ago,” CNN’s Jim Sciutto said on air Wednesday morning.

On Saturday night, Chicago Police confirmed that the “trajectory” of their investigation into the alleged attack on Smollett had “shifted,” after news outlets reported that police now think the two men arrested last week — Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo and his brother Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo — were paid by Smollett to attack him.

Smollett claims that on January 29, masked white attackers wearing MAGA hats had screamed, “This is MAGA country!” before seizing him, putting a noose around his neck, and pouring an unknown bleach-scented liquid on him. The actor turned over redacted phone records to police, but Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said those records “do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation as they were limited and heavily redacted,” ABC7 Chicago reported.

Two other pieces of evidence seemed to confirm the idea that the attack was a hoax: a hot sauce bottle with bleach-smelling liquid that emerged after the police sweeps (and may have been planted after the fact), and a record showing the rope in question was purchased by the Osundairo brothers nearby.

CNN’s Ryan Young provided more details on the actor’s DUI in Los Angeles. “First of all, he pled no contest in that DUI charge and giving the false name. So he received two years probation for that,” Young reported.

Young noted that Abel and Ola Osundairo turned over their cellphones to police. “We know for a fact that detectives are trying to get the cell phone records for Jussie Smollett and some of his financial records to see if some of these stories blend together,” he added. “You have so many different divergent stories in this now. Police really want to talk to the actor and they want to continue talking to these brothers to see how they can put the storyline together.”

“Guys, this story keeps turning every single day, hour by hour. The last thing I’ll say, over a thousand police hours put into this investigation so far,” Young concluded.

If police can prove that Smollett was lying and perpetrating a hoax, they will likely charge him with filing a false report. This is a serious charge and may land the actor in jail. These one thousand hours of police time spent on a hate hoax mean that Smollett has tied down law enforcement, making police less effective in keeping the peace in Chicago.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.