The Chicago Police Department has started an internal investigation into how information about an alleged hate crime attack against actor Jussie Smollett was anonymously leaked to journalists.
The 36 year-old openly gay actor on the hip-hop TV drama "Empire," was charged with lying to police last month after he said he was attacked in January by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs.
Detectives investigated the incident as a hate crime but local news outlets cited police sources saying it was believed to be a hoax.
Smollett, who pleaded not guilty, faces up to three years in prison if convicted. His next court hearing is scheduled for March 14.
The Chicago PD says an internal investigation had started as part of standard procedure for allegations of information leaks.