Chicago detectives suspect that Empire actor Jussie Smollett filed a false police report when he said he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in downtown Chicago late last month, a police official said Wednesday.

Smollett alleged two masked men abused him with racist and homophobic slurs before beating him up early on 29 January. Smollett, who is black and gay, said the men then looped a rope around his neck.

But since then details in the case have emerged that have cast doubt on his reported version of events.

On Wednesday, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said investigators officially considered the actor a suspect in the case. “Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony),” he tweeted.

Guglielmi added that detectives and two brothers who were earlier deemed suspects in the attack were testifying before a grand jury.

Smollett’s attorneys met with prosecutors and police earlier Wednesday afternoon. It’s unknown what was discussed or whether the actor attended the meeting.

If indicted for filing a false report, a felony, the actor would face a possible prison sentence of one to three years and could be forced to pay for the cost of the investigation.

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