Empire star Jussie Smollet charged with filing false police report about alleged assault

Actor and singer Jussie Smollet has been formally charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report about a racist and homophobic attack he claimed he was a victim of.

The Cook County State Attorney's Office announced the felony charge on Wednesday evening (local time) after confirming Smollet was a suspect in a criminal investigation into the incident.

Earlier this month, the Empire star - who is openly gay - told Chicago authorities he was attacked on January 29 by two white men "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs".

The 36-year-old claimed an unknown chemical was poured on him and a rope was tied around his neck, and that the men yelled "this is MAGA country" as they fled the scene.

Two Nigerian brothers, one of whom appeared as an extra on Empire, were arrested in relation to the attack - but were later released without charge after police cited "new evidence".

Doubts began to grow about the legitimacy of Smollet's story as police confirmed the "trajectory of the investigation" had shifted and that they would be requesting a follow-up interview with the actor.

A statement from Smollet's representatives last week refuted the claims, calling suggestions he orchestrated his own attack "ridiculous".

Entertainment Correspondent Sam Rubin spoke to The AM Show.

Watch the video.