Jussie Smollett indicted on six counts related to allegedly staged attack
Smollett will face six felony counts of disorderly conduct.
These charges are related to four police reports had made following what he claimed was a racist and anti-gay attack on him in January 2019.
However, prosecutors allege that Smollett faked the entire attack in hopes of drawing attention to himself.
Later that year, Smollett was arrested for the alleged false reports — but then, in March 2019, the charges were dropped.
At the time, Smollett agreed to let Chicago keep his $10,000 bail money.
“Empire,” which is filmed in Chicago, renewed Smollett’s contract, but indicated it had no plans to include him in the show’s sixth and final season.
In 2019, the dropping of the charges, partially given the move was done without much explanation, lead to fierce outcry criticizing the actor of not only allegedly staging the attack but wasting police resources to investigate.
The City of Chicago sued Smollett for $130,000, the amount it said it paid to police officers involved in the investigation.
16 felony counts relating to making a false police report were eventually removed from Smollett’s record with an agreement for the actor to perform community service.
However, Smollett said he “been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”
A judge eventually appointed a special prosecutor to review the case, which lead to the Feb. 11, 2020 indictment.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Smollett’s attorney wrote “This indictment raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation that led to the renewed charges against Mr. Smollett, not the least of which is the use of the same CPD detectives who were part of the original investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett to conduct the current investigation, despite Mr. Smollett’s pending civil claims against the City of Chicago and CPD officers for malicious prosecution. ”
“One of the two witnesses who testified before the grand jury is the very same detective Mr. Smollett is currently suing for his role in the initial prosecution of him,” the statement notes, referring to a lawsuit Smollett filed against Chicago Police.
“The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State’s Attorney election is clearly all about politics not justice,” the attorney wrote, referring to the involvement of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who is running for reelection.
The special prosecutor was also charged with investigating alleged calls between Foxx and Smollett’s family and a former aide to Michelle Obama about the case.
In a statement, Foxx’s office said “As the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office does in all cases, the Special Prosecutor reviewed the facts, evidence, and the law, and determined charges were appropriate in this matter. We are unable to comment further as the matter is pending.”