Jussie Smollett timeline: from sought-after actor to facing 64 years behind bars

Jussie Smollett has had a hellish few weeks since he falsely reported to being violently assaulted in a hate crime.
Jussie Smollett has had a hellish few weeks since he falsely reported to being violently assaulted in a hate crime.
Image: FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP

The past month has been a rollercoaster for Empire actor and singer Jussie Smollet who went from being a "victim" of a hate crime to possibly facing 64 years in jail.

Here is a breakdown on Jussie Smollett's hellish few weeks.

Over a month ago, there were reports that Jussie was attacked in Chicago, US, by two people who physically assaulted him, poured a chemical substance over him and shouted homophobic and racial slurs. 

The actor was also reportedly roped around his neck when he arrived at the police station.

In mid-February, "potential suspects" were released without charge after new evidence emerged from the interrogations.

Many news publications reported that the two suspects were Nigerian brothers and one of them worked on Empire after much speculation that the attack was staged.

CBS reported that the brothers told police that Jussie had paid them to participate in the alleged attack and that they had purchased the rope found on Jussie's neck on the night of the incident.

Police also had video evidence that corroborated the brothers' evidence that they purchased the rope.  

Jussie released a statement denying that he had any involvement in the attack.

Just a few days later, the actor was arrested and charged with a class four felony for opening a "bogus" report.

BBC reported that police became suspicious after they could not find any video footage of the alleged incident from more than 50 surveillance cameras, and there were no witnesses.

The actor allegedly paid the two suspects $3,500 to stage the attack. Jussie was granted $100,000 bail and is expected to return to court on March 14.

The actor has been indicted on 16 felony counts. CBS reported that each charge against Smollett carries a maximum weight of four years meaning that the singer could face a sentence of 64 years. 

TMZ also reported that Jussie's character "Jamal" has been removed from the last two episodes of season five and that sources say cast and crew members have expressed concern over the future of Empire.

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