CHICAGO – Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Tuesday in Chicago by special prosecutor Dan Webb , stemming from the alleged racist and anti-gay attack on him that occurred in January of , a source confirms to FOX (News.)
Smollett is due in court February at the criminal court building at th and California. He is indicted on six counts , accused of lying to Chicago police when he reported the attack last year, special prosecutor Webb said. Smollett faces six counts of disorderly conduct. (App users click here to read the full indictment.)
Webb released the following statement regarding the indictment.
“Dan K. Webb, special prosecutor for Cook County, today announced that the Office of the Special Prosecutor (“ OSP ”) has now completed all of its investigative steps regarding Jussie Smollett, and has made the decision to further prosecute Mr. Smollett. Based on the recommendation of the OSP, 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, “Webb said in a statement.
Smollett told Chicago police in January of 2020 that two men physic ally attacked him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. But prosecutors had insisted Smollett faked the racist, anti-gay attack on himself in the hopes that the attention would advance his acting career.
But with little explanation, authorities in March of abruptly dropped all charges against Smollett , abandoning the criminal case only five weeks after the allegations were filed. In return, prosecutors said, the actor agreed to let the city keep his $ , in bail.
The Empire actor addresses the media following an emergency hearing Tuesday where he learned all charges against him would be dropped.
The dismissal drew a swift backlash from the mayor and police chief and raised questions about why Smollett was not forced to admit what prosecutors had said they could prove in court – that the entire episode was a publicity stunt.
A judge in August appointed Webb, a former US attorney, as a special prosecutor to look into why the original charges were dropped. Webb also was looking into whether calls that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had 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.
The city has sued Smollett, seeking reimbursement of more than $ 432, for overtime paid to officers who were involved in investigating Smollett’s report. Smollett’s attorneys have said the city should not be allowed to recover costs from Smollett because it accepted $ , from the actor “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him.”
Smollett’s case has become an issue in Foxx’s bid for a second term. Her opponents have pointed to the case as indicating she has bad judgment and favors the rich and powerful in deciding who will be prosecuted.
After the charges were initially dismissed against Smollett, among those sure to keep pressing for answers was then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who appeared blindsided by the decision. His voice rising in anger at times, Emanuel called the deal “a whitewash of justice” and lashed out at Smollett. He said Smollett had exploited hate-crime laws meant to protect minorities by turning the laws “inside out, upside down for only one thing – himself.”
“Where is the accountability in the system?” Emanuel asked. “You cannot have, because of a person’s position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else.”
2nd video shows police arriving at Smollett’s home, actor has noose around neck (Graphic Language)
Chicago police have released a massive new batch of evidence in the controversial Jussie Smollett case.
“We look forward to reviewing the indictment and, as we have said previously, the City stands by our original complaint seeking to recover costs for Mr. Smollett’s false statements. We again thank the Chicago Police Department detectives for their hard work on this case the original investigation, “the City of Chicago Department of Law said in a statement.
Smollett has become a household name as a result of the case.
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett gave detailed instructions to two brothers who helped him stage a racist, anti-gay attack on himself, including giving them specific slurs to yell, telling them to shout “MAGA country” and pointing out a surveillance camera that he thought would record the beating, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Last year, defense attorneys said Smollett’s record was “wiped clean” of the 24 felony counts related to making a false report. The actor, who also agreed to do community service, insisted that he had “been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”
“I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was being accused of, “he told reporters after a court hearing. He thanked the state of Illinois “for attempting to do what’s right.”
Jussie Smollett | Chicago Police
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Cook County prosecutors’ office had said the dismissal came “after reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case.” Tandra Simonton called it “a just disposition and appropriate resolution,” but said it was not an exoneration.
First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats had said prosecutors “stand behind the investigation and the facts. “
When dropping cases, prosecutors will sometimes insist that the defendant accept at least a measure of responsibility. Outside court, neither Smollett nor his legal team had appeared to concede anything about his original report in January.
Defense attorney Patricia Brown Holmes said Smollett was “attacked by two people he was unable to identify “and” was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator. “
Authorities alleged that Smollett, who is black and gay, knew the men and arranged for them to pretend to attack him.
Then-Mayor Emanuel said the hoax could endanger other gay people who report hate crimes by casting doubt on whether they are telling the truth.
Then-Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Chicago “is still owed an apology.”
The Jussie Smollett case has brought the world’s attention to Chicago, prompting an angry & nbsp; Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to tell reporters about how Smollett had staged a fake hate crime that was not only damaging to his family and friends but also the city and future victims. & nbsp;
“I’ve heard that they wanted their day in court with TV cameras so that America could know the truth. They chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system, “he said.
Related: Smollett’s lawyers seek records on Chicago’s ousted top cop
Chicago’s top prosecutor, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, recused herself from the investigation before Smollett was charged, citing conversations she had with a Smollett family member.
A judge decided to appoint a special prosecutor Friday to investigate the decision by Cook County prosecutors to dismiss all charges against actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of lying to the police by claiming he wa s the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago in January.
Many legal experts were surprised by the dismissal, especially the fact that it did not include any condition that Smollett apologize and admit he staged the assault.
“This situation is totally bizarre. It’s highly, highly unusual, “said Phil Turner, a Chicago defense attorney and former federal prosecutor with no ties to the case.
Smollett reported that he was attacked around 2 am on Jan. 59 on his way home from a sandwich shop. Investigators said he made the false report because he was unhappy with his pay on “Empire” and believed It would promote his career.
The actor plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox TV show, which follows a black family as they navigate the ups and downs of the recording industry. Smollett said two masked men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs, poured bleach on him, beat him and looped a rope around his neck. He claimed they shouted, ” This is MAGA country “- a reference to President Donald Trump’s” Make America Great Again “campaign slogan. He asserted that he could see one of the men was whit e because he could see the skin around his eyes.
(GET FOX) (NEWS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE) Police said Smollett paid $ 3, 623 to the two men, both of whom are black.
The men were brothers Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo , and one of them had worked on “Empire.” An attorney for them, Gloria Schmidt, has said the brothers agreed to help Smollett because of their friendship with him and the sense that he was helping their careers.
Schmidt said in a statement: “The Osundairo brothers are aware of the new charges brought against Jussie Smollett today by the grand jury. As stated before, they are fully committed to the public knowing the truth about what occurred on January , . The Osundairo brothers will continue to cooperate with that process and they thank the Special Prosecutor’s office for their tireless work in seeing that justice was administered. “
Smollett’s attorney told” Good Morning America “that the two brothers are lying. Tina Glandian said Smollett had hired one brother as a personal trainer, and that they discussed training and nutrition in the hours before the attack as Smollett’s flight to Chicago was delayed. But she said Smollett had no idea who attacked him until the brothers were later identified by police.
She said Smollett is a crime victim and “just wants his life back.”
Before the attack, police said, Smollett also sent a letter threatening himself to the Chicago studio where “Empire” is shot. The FBI, which is investigating that letter, has declined to comment.
Smollett is no longer appearing on the TV show “Empire.”
The Asso ciated Press contributed to this report.