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Actor and activist Jussie Smollett. Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony, weeks after he reported he was the victim of a hate crime, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday evening.

The details: "Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest," Guglielmi tweeted. Smollett, who's black and gay, told police on Jan. 29 that he was attacked in Chicago by two people who yelled homophobic and racist slurs. But in recent days, the case took a strange turn amid reports that detectives were considering whether the attack was a hoax.

Detectives have released two men — brothers who know Smollett — after identifying them as potential suspects last week. Investigators have also discovered that the men purchased the rope that was used in the alleged attack.

  • Per ABC 7 Chicago, Smollett is due in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Chicago.

Smollett’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson released a statement Wednesday night:

"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. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and mount and aggressive defense."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

U.S. will give Russians written response to NATO demands, Blinken says

Blinken and Lavrov shake hands in Geneva. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday that the U.S. will provide written answers to Russia's security demands next week.

Why it matters: Russia claims to be waiting for "concrete answers" to its demands that NATO rule out further expansion and roll back its presence in eastern Europe before deciding its next steps on Ukraine. But the U.S. and NATO have called those proposals "non-starters," and Friday's meeting offered no breakthroughs, so it's unclear how written answers might change the equation.

More surprises await scientists at Antarctica's "Doomsday Glacier"

Cliffs along the edge of the Thwaites Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. Photo: James Yungel/NASA

Researchers like David Holland, an atmospheric scientist at New York University, are in a race to understand the fate of a massive glacier in West Antarctica that has earned a disquieting nickname: "The Doomsday Glacier."

Why it matters: Studies show the Thwaites Glacier (its official name) could already be on an irreversible course to melt during the next several decades to centuries, freeing up enough inland ice to raise global sea levels by at least several feet.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Omicron's blitz around the world has underscored the need for a new arsenal of COVID vaccines and therapeutics, experts say — and that may require an effort akin to Operation Warp Speed 2.0.

Why it matters: The virus will continue to evolve, potentially in a way that further escapes vaccine protection, and the best way to prevent more global disruptions to everyday life is to have tools ready to combat whatever comes next.