After Chicago Police confirmed Wednesday that actor Jussie Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, his lawyers issued a statement on his behalf.

“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked,” lawyers Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said in the statement.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said prosecutors were trying to get in touch with Pugh and Henderson to “negotiate a reasonable surrender” of Smollett after he was charged with an offense that carries up to three years in prison along with fines that equal the cost of the investigation.

According to the Guardian, Smollett’s lawyers had a meeting with the prosecutors Wednesday. However, the details of what was said in the meeting or whether the actor attended the meeting were not immediately known.

Smollett – an African-American man who was openly gay – had alleged that on Jan. 29, two masked men yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him before beating him up, pouring some sort of a chemical on him and looping a rope around his neck.

He claimed the attack took place 2 a.m. local time (3 a.m. EST) while he was getting a sandwich near his home in downtown Chicago. “This is MAGA country,” Smollett claimed his attackers shouted.

The police became suspicious of Smollett falsifying his own attack as they found no video evidence of the incident after scanning hours of security footage from the area where the actor claimed the attack took place.​ There were also reports of Smollett not fully cooperating with the authorities when he was being questioned about the attack.

What the police did eventually manage to find was the surveillance footage of the two suspected assailants – brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo – leaving a Chicago store after buying items that were supposedly used in Smollett’s said attack. The men were brought in for questioning some days back from Chicago’s O’Hare airport after they returned from Nigeria. The police also searched their apartment.

After they were held for 48 hours and released on Friday, Guglielmi said the information they had provided the police “has, in fact, shifted the trajectory of the investigation”.

Meanwhile, Chicago’s top prosecutor, Kim Foxx, recused herself from the investigation, giving a vague reason for doing so. “Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case,” spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said, without elaborating as to how Foxx was familiar with anyone in the case.

Anonymous sources at 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment - which produce “Empire,” a TV show starring Smollett - told Variety the showrunners were considering suspending the actor after charges were filed against him.

Jussie Smollett
Jussie Smollett attends Espolòn Celebrates Day of the Dead at Academy Nightclub in Hollywood, California, Nov. 1, 2018. Tasia Wells/Getty Images

The news came hours after Fox released a statement in support of Smollett, Wednesday. “Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” the statement said.

In addition “Empire” executive producer Danny Strong tweeted on Feb. 14: “There is 0% truth that @JussieSmollett was going to be written off of Empire. This rumor is totally false. He is the third lead and one of the most beloved characters on the show. Writing him off the show has NEVER even been discussed.”

Smollett was scheduled to work on the Chicago set of “Empire” on Thursday. On the same day, he was supposed to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. local time.