Alexander believed Smollett at first too.
By allegedly faking his own attack - even allegedly hiring a couple of alleged guys to play the part of his alleged fake attackers - Smollett has thrown gas on the "fake news" fire that Trump and his supporters use to describe every news story the president doesn't like.
Smollett proceeded to apologize to the show's cast and crew for any embarrassment his arrest and allegations against him may have caused - but he also told them he's innocent, CNN reported, citing an individual at the on-set meeting. He said they hit him, poured an unknown chemical substance on him and wrapped a rope around his neck.
The actor took "advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career", Johnson said.
He faces one felony count of filing a false police report.
Facing a barrage of criticism from openly "pissed" off law enforcement officials, prosecutors and TV talking heads, Smollett was released on $100,000 bail and had his passport revoked during the downtown Chicago court appearance Thursday.
Johnson said Smollett hasn't made any statement to police since his arrest.More news: Saudi Aramco in talks with Reliance Industries, others to invest in oil
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Smollett and his legal team are gearing up to launch an "aggressive defense", according to his attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson. "The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett".
Johnson gave credit to his detectives for a "patient and deliberate" investigation that he said began with giving Smollett the benefit of the doubt and eventually uncovered the truth after weeks of combing through video evidence and following up on leads.
"I don't think they are going to bother spending resources on charging them", Pissetzky said of the brothers. "I love the city of the Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, warts and all".
February 15: Chicago police publicly announced that the two "persons of interest" had been classified as "possible suspects" and were being questioned.The men were later released without charges.
Police asked the public for help in locating two "people of interest" caught on surveillance footage right before the alleged attack.
On his radio program Thursday, Rush Limbaugh said many in the media and on the left wanted Jussie Smollett's hate crime story to be true because it goes along with their narrative that America is a racist, homophobic country.