As scrutiny intensifies on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in the wake of his claim that he was a victim of a hate crime on Jan. 29, NBC 10 in Philadelphia is reporting that Smollett has lied to police in the past.
“It was revealed Tuesday that in 2007 Smollett pleaded no contest to DUI, driving without a license and providing false information to law enforcement, the L.A. City Attorney’s office confirmed to NBC News,” the station reports. “Smollett, now 36, was sentenced to two years probation and a choice of a fine or jail in the 2007 case, an L.A. City Attorney’s spokesman told NBC News.”
Police in Chicago are now reportedly investigating whether Smollett orchestrated the apparently racially motivated hate crime he reported three weeks ago.
“Chicago police have requested LAPD provide them information about the 2007 arrest, according to multiple law enforcement sources familiar [with] the investigation,” NBC 10 reports. “Chicago police officials say they have shifted their focus from a hate crime investigation to one of filing a false report.”