Jussie Smollett staged attack because he was 'dissatisfied with his salary': Police

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett appeared in court Thursday after surrendering to authorities in the early morning on one felony count of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.
4:59 | 02/22/19

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Transcript for Jussie Smollett staged attack because he was 'dissatisfied with his salary': Police
And we begin tonight with the stunning fall today for the actor who told police he was the victim of a racial and homophobic attack. Tonight, he's charged with a felony, and the Chicago police superintendent who went on national TV with his own words for jussie smollett. The actor who claimed he was the victim is tonight formally charged. Police say he orchestrated the whole thing. Charged with a felony for filing a false police report. Free on bond at this hour, he was seen late today leaving the courthouse, surrounded by cameras. And right here tonight, the new evidence now presented, and that police superintendent who did not hide his anger. ABC's Eva pilgrim leading us off. Reporter: Late today, jussie smollett facing a crush of cameras as he left a Chicago courthouse. Holding onto a security guard before slipping into a waiting car. His family joining him in court today to show their support. Do you believe your brother's story? Reporter: As smollett faced a judge for the first time. Accused of filing a false police report. Chicago's police superintendent with blistering words for the actor. Jussie smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I'm left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? I'm offended by what's happened, and I'm also angry. Reporter: For weeks, smollett insisted he was the victim. Who the Would make something like this up, or add something to it or -- or whatever it may be. You do such a disservice when you lie about things like this. Reporter: But police say that's exactly what he did. Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language. When that didn't work, smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process. And why? The stunt was orchestrated by smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary. Reporter: At the center of the case, those two brothers first seen in that grainy surveillance video. Prosecutors today laying out in excruciating detail how smollett first enlisted one brother he knew from "Empire." Defendant smollett texted Abel stating, "Might need your help on the low." Reporter: Abel had been the actor's personal trainer and police say he supplied smollett with the designer drug ecstasy. Defendant smollett stated he wanted to stage an attack where Abel would appear to batter him. Reporter: Prosecutors say smollett suggested the older brother help. Smollett asked ola if he M. When ola said he could, smollett detailed his plans of the attack. Reporter: The brothers now cooperating with police.have the check that was used to pay them. Reporter: They're seen here on store surveillance buying supplies -- a red hat, ski mask and gloves for an attack police think smollett hoped would be Ed on camera. The brothers had gloves on during the staged attack, where they punched him a little bit, but as far as we can tell, the scratching and bruising that you saw on his face was most likely self-inflicted. Reporter: Smollett's attorney says he enjoys the presumption of innocence, given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense. Tonight, Chicago's top cop worries about what this means for real victims, and even still, he had concern for smol I'll continue to pray for this troubled young man who resorted to both drastic and illegal tactics to gain attention. My concern is that hate crimes will now publicly be met with a level of skepticism that previously didn't happen. And Eva pilgrim with us live tonight outside that courthouse in Chicago. Eva, you watched along with us as that police superintendent also said what he would now like from jussie smollett at this point, and this is what he said. Absolute justice would be an apology to this city that he smeared. Admitting what he did. And then, be man enough to -- to offer what he should offer up, in terms of all the resources that we put into this. Eva, that superintent den saying what so many people in that community there in Chicago, and really across the country, have been feeling as they've watched this story, you know, unfold before their eyes over a series of several nights here. Reporter: That's right, David. That police superintendent clearly 'em passioned, as was the judge here, setting Donald at $100,000. Unusually high for this type of charge. And tonight, smollett's attorneys at one point telling the court that the actor would be back at work on the set of "Empire." David? Eva pilgrim leading us off tonight. Thank you, Eva. Now, to another courtroom,

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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