Jussie Smollett Mugshot Released, Awaits Court Appearance

'Empire' event in Los Angeles

Latest reports from the Associated Press say actor Jussie Smollett sent the racist and homophobic letter to himself because he was dissatisfied with his salary.

Jussie Smollett is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing today. Police haven't described a motive.

Smollett had felony criminal charges approved against him Wednesday - and turned himself into police, authorities said. Then detectives in a city bristling with surveillance cameras could not find video of the beating.

But as questions began to emerge about Smollett's account, the three Democratic contenders faced uncomfortable questions about whether they were too quick to make a judgment and utter words of condemnation. Police later stated that they had the $3,500 check he wrote the brothers as payment for their involvement as evidence. And Ettinger pointed to the many resources the Chicago Police Department deployed while looking into his claims.

A source close to the Empire production team told ET earlier Thursday that a meeting with Fox was expected to happen on Thursday to discuss Smollet's future with the show. He said the masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled "This is MAGA country" - an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again" - before fleeing.

Fox, for its part, has stood by Smollett throughout the investigation. The series is shot in Chicago and follows a black family as they navigate the ups and downs of the recording industry.

But it has not escaped notice that the FBI has been involved in the three-week investigation that generated worldwide headlines. After executing a search warrant, the police found out that Abel and Ola were linked to Smollett's show "Empire".

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Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo told police during their investigation that they were hired by the actor for an orchestrated attack.

By Wednesday, Chicago police said they were looking into the incident as a possible hoax.

The brothers, who are not considered suspects, wore gloves during the staged attack and "punched him a little bit", Johnson said. The actor released his debut album, "Sum of My Music", a year ago. The police spokesman said the brothers appeared before the panel to "lock in their testimony". Johnson said. "How could this individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?" "We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens", they told WBBM.

"You've got to have a deterrent effect", Ettinger said.

Smollett's lawyers asked for their client to be released on his own recognizance, but Judge John Lyke balked, saying it was "totally inappropriate". The actor, his attorneys and supporters left without speaking to reporters. Four minutes later, the planned attack took place, but a witness, an employee of NBC News Chicago, "heard nothing at the time the staged attack was occurring" as she was exiting her auto around the "corner from the location".

"He could be charged in both places, theoretically", Lopez said.

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