'Despicable': Chicago judge slams Jussie Smollett over alleged staged attack

"Utterly outrageous" and "despicable" is how a Chicago judge has described Empire star Jussie Smollett's alleged staged racist attack on himself.

The 36-year-old Empire star is accused of hiring two men to carry out the homophobic and racist attack to further his acting career. 

He claims that two men called him slurs while placing a noose around his neck and beating him last month in downtown Chicago.

Now facing charges that he has lied to police, in court Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr, who is also black, slammed the actor and set bail at $100,000. 

"The most vile and despicable part of it, if it's true, is the noose. 

"That symbol conjures up such evil in this country's history."

Smollett turned himself into Chicago police early on Thursday morning (local time) after being charged with disorderly conduct for his alleged staging of the attack, reports CBS.

He was released from Cook County Jail about 3:45pm after a friend posted the necessary $10,000, according to court documents. 

"Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a news conference on Thursday. 

"This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn't earn, and certainly didn't deserve." 

Mr Johnson says the attack was staged by Smollett because he was "dissatisfied with his salary".