Chicago, IL – Jussie Smollett arrived at a Chicago courthouse on Monday morning (February 24) surrounded by a mob of people.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Smollett appeared before Judge James Linn and entered a not guilty plea on six new disorderly conduct charges after he was indicted earlier this month.
The charges were handed down by a grand jury on Tuesday (February 11). The office of Special Prosecutor Dan Webb said, “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 trouble stems from Smollett’s January 2019 claim he was attacked by two MAGA hat-wearing homophobic and racist men who beat him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him. Investigators ultimately determined Smollett had fabricated the entire story.
[This article as been update. The following was published on February 11, 2020.]
Disgraced Empire actor Jussie Smollett has reportedly been indicted by a grand jury on six disorderly conduct charges. According to NBC News, the office of Special Prosecutor Dan Webb confirmed the charges were handed down on Tuesday (February 11).
“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 office said in a statement.
This is yet another chapter in Smollett’s already lengthy saga. Smollett is currently facing a $130,000 lawsuit from the city of Chicago, which police and prosecutors say is the amount of money it cost to investigate Smollett’s alleged hate crime.
In January 2019, Smollett claimed he was attacked by MAGA hat-wearing racists who put a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him. While he initially garnered sympathy from his fellow Empire actors and the entertainment community at-large, investigators soon realized Smollett had fabricated the entire story.
As a result, he was arrested and charged with felony disorderly conduct in February 2019 for the alleged false report he filed with Chicago police.
Former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson accused Smollett of staging the crime to “promote his career,” while police said Smollett paid Nigerian brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo $3,500 to orchestrate the attack.
Last March, a grand jury indicted Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report but all charges were inexplicably dropped just weeks later, sending shockwaves through the Chicago Police Department.
In addition to all of the legal drama, Smollett was not allowed to return to Empire for Season 6, which director Lee Daniels made abundantly clear last June while replying to a Variety article stating otherwise.
“@Variety @JoeOtterson This is not factual,” Daniels wrote. “Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire. -LD.”
— Lee Daniels Entertainment (@leedanielsent) June 4, 2019