Jussie Smollett Indicted On 16 Charges Related To Allegedly Fake Hate Crime
JC News|March. 08, 2019
A grand jury returned 16 felony counts against Empire star Jussie Smollett for falsely reporting an assault, the Chicago Tribune reports.
In January, Smollett claimed he was the victim of a hate crime, in which two men spewed racist and homophobic slurs at him before dousing him with bleach and putting a rope around his neck. Smollett is openly gay, as is his character on Empire.
Weeks later, investigators revealed that Smollett’s story of the Chicago attack did not match up with their evidence. In February, Smollett was arrested for falsely filing a police report.
The 16 felony accounts include each act that Smollett claimed was made against him by the two alleged attackers, now believed by police to have been paid by Smollett as part of a “publicity stunt” of sorts.
Smollett is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14.
Smollett's long-term fate on Empire is unknown. He was suspended from the series following his February arrest. According to TMZ, he apologized to the cast and crew on Empire while maintaining his innocence. He has denied all claims thus far that he staged the attack.
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