Empire actor Jussie Smollett pleaded no contest in 2007 to providing false information to law enforcement in connection with a DUI, according to NBC News 10, which confirmed the incident with the Los Angeles City Attorney.
Smollett was sentenced to two years probation and a choice of a fine or jail in the 2007 case.
News of Smollett’s 2007 false report comes as the Empire star faces potential charges for filing another false police report surrounding a January 29 “hate crime” that two acquaintances claim he paid them to rehearse and then stage.
The two men, Nigerian-born brothers – Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundario, one of whom is Smollett’s personal trainer and was an extra on Empire, met with police and prosecutors at the local courthouse and are cooperating in the case.
Earlier Tuesday we reported that the FBI crime lab and US Postal Inspectors are investigating whether Smollett was involved in creating a threatening letter addressed to him at Empire‘s Chicago studio prior to the alleged attack.
“The letter – sent on Jan. 22, is currently at the FBI crime lab for analysis,” reports ABC.
The Osundairo brothers agreed to cooperate with authorities after detectives confronted them with evidence that they bought the rope — allegedly used in an attack that Smollett described to police as laced with racial and homophobic slurs — at a Chicago hardware store, sources said. –ABC News
While Empire network Fox has thus far publicly stood by Smollett, TMZ reported on Tuesday that the star’s screen time has been significantly reduced – with 9 scenes being cut to four, and Smollett “no longer the focus” of them.
Smollett reported in January that two white men physically assaulted him, yelling “this is MAGA country!” in addition to racist and homophobic slurs which were ‘coincidentally’ used in a play Smollett had done a reading for in New York City the day before, according to the Daily Mail.
Smollett says the men beat him up, poured a bleach-like liquid on him and wrapped a noose around his neck, before he was able to chase them off because the self-styled “gay Tupac” did not let his attackers win. Instead, he “fought the fuck back.”