Well, you have to admit you saw this coming:  “Empire” actor JUSSIE SMOLLETT was charged yesterday with filing a false report.  It’s a felony charge, and he could be looking at up to three years in prison.

Chicago Police believe he orchestrated the supposed hate crime in Chicago on January 29th.

Jussie’s lawyers say they will, quote, “mount an aggressive defense.”

The two men who allegedly attacked Jussie . . . brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo . . . say Jussie PAID them to attack him and make it look like a hate crime.  They’re cooperating with police.

Meanwhile, newly-obtained video shows the brothers buying ski masks and a red hat at a store the day before the attack.

One of them is also believed to have bought the rope that was placed around Smollett’s neck during the “attack”.

(On a related note, Fox is thinking about suspending Jussie from “Empire”.)

(VarietyCBS Chicago)