Former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett has been indicted on charges relating to a January 2019 incident in which Smollett, a gay Black man, said he was attacked by two men, who yelled racial and homophobic epithets at him as he walked in Chicago late at night. Six months after a special prosecutor was assigned to investigate the dismissal of charges against Smollett, that investigation is now complete.
Smollett faces six felony counts of disorderly conduct from four separate reports that he gave to police.
Smollett was later accused of lying about what he contended were hate crimes against him, and in February of last year he originally was charged with disorderly conduct.
Then in March, a grand jury slapped Smollett with a 16-count indictment of disorderly conduct, but those charges were dropped later that same month.
Smollett, 37, has maintained his innocence all along and said he never lied about anything.
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, a Cook County, Illinois, grand jury decided to bring forth a six-count indictment for making false police reports.
“[I have] now completed all of its investigative steps regarding Jussie Smollett and made the decision to further prosecute Mr. Smollett,” said special prosecutor Dan K. Webb in a statement.
“Based on the recommendation of the OSP [Office of the Special Prosecutor], a Cook County grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Jussie Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime,” the statement continued.
The six-count indictment comes at the same time there’s an open civil suit against Smollett that was filed by the City of Chicago last year. The city is looking to get back more than $130,000 that was spent as they investigated the actor’s claims.
Smollett countersued the city in November and said he was “maliciously” prosecuted.
At this time, there hasn’t been an arrest warrant issued for Smollett, but he’s due back in court on Feb. 24.