Jussie Smollett pleaded no contest to DUI, driving without a license, and providing false information to law enforcement officials in 2007, according to new reports released on Tuesday.
“Tuesday the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office confirmed that in August of 2007 Smollett pleaded no contest to DUI, driving without a license and providing false information to law enforcement,” CBS Chicago reported. “He was sentenced to two years probation and a choice of a fine or jail. Officials at the office could not confirm which Smollett chose. A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said the department was already aware of the plea.”
This latest revelation follows several significant developments over the last few days, and could end up impacting how prosecutors handle potential false report charges.
On Saturday, CBS Chicago reported that, according to law enforcement officials, new evidence suggested that Smollett orchestrated the January 29 attack on himself:
Sources say at least one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett’s request. The sources also say the ‘Empire’ actor paid for the rope, which was purchased at the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store the weekend of Jan. 25. The brothers were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return.
On Monday, CBS Chicago reported that law enforcement officials had reason to believe that Smollett concocted the attack on himself because he was upset that a threatening letter he received the week before the attack did not get a “bigger reaction.”
“When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack,” a source told CBS Chicago.
On Tuesday, ABC News reported that the two brothers who allegedly staged the attack on Smollett indicated that Smollett was involved in sending the threatening letter to himself.
“The FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service are currently investigating whether Jussie Smollett played a role in sending a threatening letter addressed to him at ‘Empire’s’ Chicago studio prior to the alleged attack,” ABC News reported, after confirming with two federal officials. “The accusation, made by the two brothers who were persons of interest, has not been confirmed.”
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that hours before the alleged attack, Smollett reportedly participated in a play that was similar to the attack that he is accused of orchestrating.
“He had been in New York City for a reading of the play Take Me Out, with sources telling DailyMail.com that Smollett was being considered to appear in a possible revival of the Tony-winning production about a biracial baseball star who comes out as gay,” The Daily Mail reported. “The script for that play finds the lead character being attacked by a new pitcher who joins the team. That character uses the same racial slurs Smollett told police his attackers screamed at him, including ‘f****t’ and ‘n****r.'”