Published Feb 12, 2020Jussie Smollett has been indicted on six new charges of disorderly conduct, stemming from a 2019 incident that was reported as a hate crime.
The new charges arrive without new evidence that Smollett made false reports to police, but stand in opposition to the decision to drop charges last year.
"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 of special prosecutor Dan Webb told NBC News in a statement.
Smollett's attorney has issued a statement, which reads:
After more than five months of investigation, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has not found any evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever related to the dismissal of the charges against Mr. Smollett. Rather, the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence. 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 former Empire actor went to police last year, claiming he had been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago.
Police initially investigated the incident as a hate crime, but after interviewing the two alleged assailants, police switched over to investigating whether the actor had paid Nigerian brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo to stage an attack.
A grand jury indicted Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report. Smollett pleaded not guilty to all charges, and the charges were unexpectedly dropped a few weeks later.
The city of Chicago then sued Smollett for the cost of the investigations into the incident.
In the midst of the scandal, Smollett was fired from Empire.