Jussie Smollett Is Now Officially a Suspect in Criminal Investigation

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Actor Jussie Smollett attends the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

After a whirlwind few weeks since telling Chicago police that he was assaulted, Empire star Jussie Smollett is now officially a suspect in a criminal investigation.

On Wednesday, Chicago police announced that Jussie Smollett, who told police he was assaulted by two masked men last month, was now a suspect in a criminal investigation that he filed a false report.

The stunning news follows reports that Smollett paid two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundaira, to stage the attack, which left him with bruised ribs.

"Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false report (Class 4 felony),  Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted. "Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Jury."

Anthony Guglielmi on Twitter

Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury.

Smollett filed a police report on January 29 claiming that two masked men had attacked him, poured bleach on him and placed a noose around his neck while shouting racist and homophobic slurs. Police later said they were investigating whether the alleged attack on the 36-year-old actor, who is black and gay, was a hate crime.

Last Friday, the Osundaira brothers were released and the investigation shifted over to Smollett for questioning.

Smollett has maintained his innocence and his version of the alleged attack.