Jussie Smollet Indicted Over False Hate Crime Attack By Special Prosecutor; Ex-‘Empire’ Star Back To Court
DEVELOPING …. Over a year after claiming he was attacked on the cold streets of Chicago, Jussie Smollett today was indicted by a special prosecutor in the case that the former Empire star probably thought was behind him.
The move by special prosecutor Dan Webb will find Smollett back in court in the Windy City on February 24 to face the new charges and potential jail time over the widely covered January 29, 2019 incident
Initially treated as a potential hate crime by Chicago Police Department and garnering sympathy from a varied lot of Donald Trump, the Empire cast and creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, and many more, the tide turned against Smollett as “persons of interest” the Osundairo brothers claimed that it was in fact the actor himself who the mastermind of the attack.
Last spring, criminal charges were laid against Smollett, who has always maintained his innocence. If Smollett had been convicted on all 16 counts, he could have faced nearly 50 years in state prison. However, the case was suddenly dropped and sealed in late March 2019 upon request from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office with a $10,000 payment and some community service credit – which really ticked off then Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the CPD and saw the city itself go after Smollett for the costs of the investigation in a still ongoing lawsuit
With the controversy surrounding the attack and the aftermath, Smollett was booted out from shooting the final episodes of Season 5 of Empire last year. The return of the Fox hip hop drama for its sixth and final season last fall saw Smollett seemingly permanently written out of the show, despite repeated pleas for his re-instatement by Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and other leading cast members.
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