Jussie Smollett releases a scathing statement - and he's attacking someone new

NEW YORK CITY- MAY 16 Jussie Smollett arrives at the FOX 2016 Programming Presentation red carpet arrivals at the Wollman Rink in Central Park on Monday

NEW YORK CITY- MAY 16 Jussie Smollett arrives at the FOX 2016 Programming Presentation red carpet arrivals at the Wollman Rink in Central Park on Monday

Unlike other celebrities and politicians, like Nancy Pelosi, who have deleted their previous tweets supporting Smollett, Waters has kept hers up.

Geragos was not in court with Smollett today in downtown Chicago.

On Thursday, the 36-year-old actor was arrested on charges of filing a false police report - a report that led to a round-the-clock search for two homophobic, racist attackers.

Several prominent Democratic politicians and 2020 presidential candidates had issued strong statements of support after Smollett, an actor on the TV show "Empire", went public in January with his claims that he had been attacked by two men.

"To hear that he just made it up is just so frustrating and angering and disappointing because I feel like he was just a voice for people like me and to hear that he abused his power to advance his career and maybe a little pay is just sickening", Isaiah Nixon said.

In a statement released Thursday after Smollett's arrest, the senator wrote that "hate crimes are on the rise in America", and said, "Part of the tragedy of this situation is that it distracts from that truth, and has been seized by some who would like to dismiss and downplay the very real problems that we must address".

"As far as we can tell, the scratching and bruising that you saw on his face were most likely self-inflicted", Johnson said.

Phone records indicate Smollett talked to the brothers about an hour before the alleged attack, an hour afterward and after they left the country for Nigeria, authorities said. He said he has been a fan of Smollett since day one.

While he's at it, he should also apologize to the real victims of hate crimes, and to Trump supporters for depicting them as racists and homophobes.

A statement from Smollett's camp Thursday evening emphasized that he maintains his innocence.

Maxine Waters said she "would be disappointed" if it's proven that her friend Jussie Smollett staged his own attack.

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February 13: Two men were quietly taken into police custody after landing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport from Nigeria. He said he was "pissed off" about the incident, and that he was "forever changed" because he would "never be the man that this did not happen to".

Hours before local media published reports questioning the veracity of Smollett's allegations, the actor told Roberts that he was angry about people not believing his story.

Later that morning, police announced that they had identified the "persons of interest in the area of the alleged attack", but noted that they were not suspects.

20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment initially stood behind the actor and his role on "Empire", but his future is now under review.

"Then they just did the police work", he said.

Smollett and his legal team are gearing up to launch an "aggressive defense", according to his attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson.

Police say that Smollett paid two acquaintances who were later caught on surveillance video the night of the attack.

Smollett's attorneys wrote that he, like any other citizen, "enjoys the presumption of innocence" and that they meant to "mount an aggressive defense".

Trump., who called the attack on Smollett "horrible" a couple of days after it occurred, today tweeted: "What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and unsafe comments?"

Smollett appeared at a court hearing in the afternoon, during which his bond was set at $100,000, and he was ordered to surrender his passport.

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