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Chicago police say Jussie Smollett staged his attack because he was 'dissatisfied with his salary'

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson blasted Jussie Smollett in an emotional press conference on Thursday in which he said that Smollett's alleged staging of a hoax attack was a "publicity stunt...to promote his career."

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Johnson said. "Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? ... How can an individual who's been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?" Johnson charged that Smollett, an actor on the hit show 'Empire' who has consistently denied any role in staging the alleged attack, orchestrated it because he was "dissatisfied with his salary."
In addition to staging the attack, officials said, Smollett also sent himself a hate-filled letter to the Fox studio where the hit show is filmed. Smollett turned himself in at 5:15 a.m. local time and made a statement to police before being taken into custody. His lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, were not present at the time but they released a statement the night before.
"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 to mount an aggressive defense."
Police add that Smollett gave no statement to police after turning himself in and that his lawyers had reached out to them Wednesday night to discuss his surrender.

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