Jussie Smollett has been indicted on 16 counts for lying to the police about his attack, which he previously reported was a homophobic hate crime.
In January of 2019, the Empire star reported that he was attacked by two racist and homophobic men while in Chicago. After investigations, the police accused Smollett of paying the men to orchestrate the assault on him. Furthermore, he was charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.
Smollett is currently out of jail on a $100,000 bail and his lawyers have previously denied that he did any such thing. On Thursday, the jury indicted Smollett for 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct. His attorneys did not immediately comment on the situation.
Smollett originally claimed that “two unknown males, dressed in black and one of whom wore a black mask” approached him on January 29 and “called him racial and homophobic slurs, and struck him about the face with their hands, causing bodily harm to him”. The indictment, obtained by E!, states, “Jussie Smollett knew that at the time of this transmission, there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed.”
Another charge involves Smollett’s comments to a police detective. He claimed to be “the victim of a battery, a hate crime, and an aggravated battery”. He also said he “heard racial and homophobic slurs, and two unknown offenders approached [him] from behind, punched [him] in the face, and that [he] fought back, and he and the two unknown offenders fell to the ground, where [he] was kicked in the back, felt pulling at his neck, and a liquid was poured onto him.”
Smollett also revealed a letter he received in the weeks before the attack during the case. It was found to contain a white powder that was aspirin. Chicago police accused him of faking a letter and mailing it to himself.
Smollett is due back in court in a week.