- Former ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a special prosecutor in Illinois on six counts of lying to police.
- Last year, Smollett claimed he was the subject of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago.
- The police have accused him of staging the attack for publicity which the actor denied.
Tv actor Jussie Smollett is facing new charges for reporting an attack that Chicago police claim was staged to garner publicity, according to media reports Tuesday.
The charges include disorderly conduct counts, according to the reports citing unidentified sources.
Last year, Smollett alleged he was the target of a racist and homophobic attack for being black and openly gay. He was charged in February 2019 with disorderly conduct for allegedly staging the attack and lying about it to authorities.
The following month, the charges were dropped with little explanation, sparking anger from police officials and then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Cook County Judge Michael Toomin in August appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb as a special prosecutor to investigate the dropping of charges. Webb was also assigned to look into whether Foxx’s calls with a Smollett relative and an ex-aide of former first lady Michelle Obama unduly influenced the decision to drop charges. Foxx recused herself from the case but continued to weigh in.
According to Smollett, he was walking home in the early hours of Jan. 29, 2019, when two masked men approached him, made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing. He said his attackers, at least one of whom he said was white, told him he was in “MAGA country” — a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
After several weeks, investigators accused Smollett of paying two black guys for $3,500 to help him stage the attack, saying he was unhappy with his salary as a cast member on “Empire” and wanted to get all the publicity he can get to help his career.
Smollett was written out of the final episodes of Fox show’s fifth season.