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Jussie Smollett Released on $100,000 Bail

Jussie Smollett

The gay Empire actor appeared alongside family members at a bond hearing regarding his felony charges.

Jussie Smollett has been released on bail.

The gay Empire actor agreed to post bond -- 10 percent of his $100,000 bail -- and surrender his passport. He also agreed to pretrial monitoring before his court appearance March 14 and to not contact the two men police allege he paid to stage a hate-crime attack, reports The Hill.

"You are presumed innocent, but if these allegations are true, they are utterly outrageous," said Judge John Lyke, who deemed the use of a noose the most surprising part of Smollett's alleged hoax.

Smollett reportedly gave no statement during the hearing other than his name, as well as nodding and whispering to his lawyers. He appeared to be "breathing heavily," noted on-scene reporter Stephanie Wash, and "closed his eyes tightly and swallowed hard" when the text of the threatening letter was read aloud from the proffer statement.

The proffer statement, which outlined the prosecution's argument for a timeline of events, detailed Smollett's relationship with one of the men, Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo. According to the statement, this relationship began in fall 2017, and included socializing, working out together, working on the set of Empire, where Osundairo portrayed an extra -- and also drug-dealing.

"Text messages between Defendant Smollett revealed that Abel was a source of designer drugs for Defendant Smollett," the statement read. "Specifically, since the spring of 2018, on several occasions, Defendant Smollett requested Abel to provide him with 'Molly,' which is a street name for the narcotic Ecstasy."

It was through a text message, the proffer statement claimed, that Smollett reached out to Abel and his brother Olabinjo "Ola" on January 25 with a request. "Might need your help on the low. You around to meet up and talk face to face," Smollett texted Osundairo, according to the statement, which said the trio met in person later that day to plan a staged attack on Smollett.

Smollett's family members, including siblings Jazz, Jake, and Jocqui, were also present at the Thursday bond hearing at the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago. They did not speak to members of the press. The hearing occurred several hours after Smollett turned himself in to Chicago authorities.

The 36-year-old actor was charged Wednesday by a grand jury with falsifying a police report in his own alleged attack. Smollett now faces a Class 4 felony charge and could see prison time of one to three years if found guilty.

At a press briefing earlier Thursday, Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said authorities believe Smollett faked a threatening letter and then a hate crime against himself because he was "dissatisfied with his salary" on the Fox musical drama.

Johnson outlined how police believe Smollett hired two brothers to stage an attack for $3,500. The brothers, wearing gloves, punched Smollett "a little bit," Johnson said, but police believe that the scratches on Smollett's face were self-inflicted.

Johnson, who is African-American, declared that Smollett "took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I'm left hanging my head and asking why."

President Trump blasted Smollett for what he framed as an attack on his supporters, tweeting about the "tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!?"

Read the proffer statement below.



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