CNN  — 

Two years after actor Jussie Smollett claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack, a jury has found the former “Empire” star guilty of lying to police.

The verdict Thursday was the final twist in a case that gripped the nation from the start.

Here’s a look at how we got here.

January 2019: Smollett said he was attacked

Smollett told authorities he was attacked in the early morning hours of January 29, 2019, by two men who were yelling racial and homophobic slurs. He said the two men put a noose around his neck and poured an unknown substance on him, according to Chicago police.

Celebrities, politicians and advocacy groups rallied behind the actor, with former President Donald Trump calling the alleged attack “horrible.” In his first public statement since the reported attack, Smollett thanked his fans for the support and attempted to dispel doubts questioning the integrity of his story, saying he had “been 100% factual and consistent on every level.”

Police began an investigation, taking Smollett’s sweater and rope and eventually obtaining video showing the actor entering a Lowe’s store after the alleged attack with what appeared to be a noose around his neck.

A day after the alleged attack, police said they found surveillance footage showing “potential persons of interest wanted for questioning.”

February 2019: Two brothers confess to plot

About a month later, then-Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett allegedly paid two brothers $3,500 to stage the attack to take “advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” saying the brothers confessed to the plot.

“As far as we can tell, the scratching and bruising that you saw on his face were most likely self-inflicted,” Johnson said in late February 2019.

Smollett was arrested on suspicion of filing a false report and released on bond. Prosecutors alleged Smollett texted a friend, one of the brothers, on January 25 and asked to talk. He laid out the plan and rehearsed it, prosecutors said, and gave the friend, Abimbola Osundairo, and his brother, Olabinjo, a $100 bill to buy clothing and rope for a noose and instructed the duo not to bring their phones to the attack. Phone records indicated Smollett talked to the brothers about an hour before the alleged attack and an hour after, authorities said, citing text messages and hours of surveillance video.

The Osundairo brothers told police Smollett first “attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language,” Johnson said in February 2019. A week before the alleged attack, a letter containing white powder and a drawing of a “stick figure hanging from a tree” was sent to the Chicago set of “Empire,” police said. Prosecutors said Smollett told Abimbola Osundairo he was disappointed in the “Empire” team’s reaction to the letter. The powder turned out to be aspirin.

After cooperating with police, the two brothers were released without being charged.

After his arrest, Smollett apologized to the show’s cast and crew for any embarrassment the allegations may have caused but maintained he was innocent.

March 2019: Smollett is indicted on 16 felony counts

In March 2019, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct by a Cook County, Illinois, grand jury. The indictment said that after the alleged attack, Smollett gave statements to both a Chicago police officer and to a detective but that details in those statements were different.