The “Empire” actor was arrested on Thursday (Feb. 21) after being accused of concocting a story that he was beaten by two white men in Chicago, who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him. He was released on the same day of his arrest after a posting a $100,000 bond. He’s officially charged with felony disorderly conductfor filing a false police report.
Shortly before the arrest, it was revealed that in 2007 Smollett received a misdemeanor charge in Los Angeles after he was stopped for a suspected DUI and lied to an officer about who he was. Smollett said that he was his brother Jake Smollett and didn’t sign his real name on a document that said he would promise to appear in court.
Smollett then pleaded no contest to the charge of giving false information and did the same with the charges of driving without a valid driver’s license and the DUI. According to NBC Philadelphia, the actor received two years of probation that year, paid a fine and had to attend an alcohol treatment program.
On Thursday (Feb. 21), Smollett’s legal team issued a statement about the recent disorderly conduct charge and said his arrest is a huge injustice. Jake Smollett then posted that statement on his Instagram page later that day.
“Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system,” the statement read. “Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently want to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.”
One of Jake Smollett’s followers responded to that post, which caught his attention.
“Your brother lied and said he was you when he got stopped for a DUI in 2007,” that person wrote. “So much for impeccable character. Give it up lol.”
Jake Smollett eventually shot back.
“F–k U,” he responded. He also disabled the comments on his Instagram page afterward.
According to CNN, Smollett apologized to his “Empire” cast mates for any negative attention he brought their way, and he still maintains his innocence.