CNN  — 

The sequence of events reads like the plot of a television show: A man stages his own attack and rehearses it beforehand, making sure there’s a surveillance camera nearby to record it.

But prosecutors say it really happened. They allege “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett hired two men to orchestrate what appeared to be a racist, homophobic attack on himself in Chicago on January 29.

Smollett hired brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, and paid them $3,500 to stage an attack, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said Thursday.

Smollett reported the attack to police who investigated it as a possible hate crime. But as the story unfolded over the weeks, its numerous twists and turns culminated with Smollett’s arrest Thursday on suspicion of filing a false police report.