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Actor Jussie Smollett was attacked in a hate crime. Now, he's been charged for faking it.

“This is MAGA country,” yelled two men in ski masks before placing a noose around the neck of actor and musician Jussie Smollett, beating him and pouring bleach on him.

It was a horrific hate crime, referencing Donald Trump‘s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan, that shocked police and the world.

There was an outpouring of shock and love from fellow performers;

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But now, a month on from the “horrific” attack, Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report.

“Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi announced on  Twitter.

Now, the 36-year-old actor could potentially face up to three years in jail if he is convicted of the charge.

The morning of the ‘attack’ last month, Smollett took himself to a local hospital where he was treated for a fractured rib and cuts and bruises. His condition was described as “good.”

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He was discharged that same day.

“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” the Chicago police said in a statement at the time.

Eight days before the attack, a letter was allegedly posted to Fox Studios in Chicago with cut out letters spelling, “you will die black fag.”

As police continued their investigations, Smollett’s Empire colleagues were given armed security.

Smollett’s family were heartbroken.

“Our beloved son and brother Smollett was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack, we want it to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime,” they told the media.

Mamamia’s daily news podcast The Quicky will get you up to speed on what you need to know today…

President Trump even weighed in, calling the assault “horrible” when asked about it in a press interview.

Smollett himself also addressed the attack, releasing a statement.

“These types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident,” he said.

Just a day after the attack, police released surveillance images of two persons of interest captured on camera around the time of the alleged attack.

Days later, at Chicago’s O’Hare International airport two men – Nigerian brothers Obabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo – were arrested.

But over the weekend they were released without charge.

brothers
The brothers (pictured) were arrested and released without charge. It's alleged they were paid by Jussie to "attack" him.
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One of the men was Smollett's personal trainer.

Over the past few weeks, there were already bubblings that something with the alleged story wasn't quite right.

Smollett even went on Good Morning America to address those allegations.

"It feels like if I had said [my attacker] was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black , I feel like the doubters would have supported me more. A lot more.

"It's not necessarily that you don't believe that this is the truth. You don't want to see the truth," Smollett said in the interview.

Police said upon releasing the brothers that their investigation had "shifted."

"We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation," said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

He did not elaborate what he meant by that phrasing  - but Smollett's lawyers issued a statement saying the actor would cooperate with police but felt "victimised" by reports he might have been involved in planning the attack.

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Smollett allegedly paid the brothers, his friends, AUD $5600 to stage his racial and homophobic assault, with the trio reportedly even rehearsing beforehand.

According to the New York Post, the star paid $4900 before the pair left for Nigeria the day of the attack, and promised them another $700 when they returned to the US.

Smollett also allegedly paid for the rope that was used as a noose around his neck from a hardware store the weekend before the attack.

The brothers are said to be cooperating with the police investigation and are holed up in a "secret location".

Smollett, however, is standing by his story with his lawyer releasing a statement that Smollett was "angered and devastated" by the claims.

"Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying," said his lawyer.

If you're unsure who Smollett is, you might remember him more from his days as a child actor on Mighty Ducks - he also made appearances on The Mindy Project, and Revenge.

Mighty Ducks
Smollett starred in the 1992 "The Mighty Ducks."

In 2015 he gained more notoriety for his portrayal of Jamie Lyon in the drama series Empire, and in the same year in an interview with Ellen he came out as gay.

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