Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a grand jury nearly a year after being charged in 2019 for allegedly staging a hate crime attack near his place in Streeterville, Illinois.
According to NBC News, the grand jury indicted Smollett on six disorderly conduct charges, according to the office of Special Prosecutor Dan Webb. This comes as Smollett is already facing a $130,000 lawsuit from the city of Chicago.
“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’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.
Webb, a former U.S. Attorney in Chicago, was appointed by Judge Michael Toomin six months ago. He was responsible for reviewing both the evidence against Smollett with the goal of possibly filing new charges and he was also responsible for reviewing how the case was handled by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her team.
Smollett was charged back in February 2019 with 16 low-level felony counts for allegedly providing false information about being attacked. He claimed that he was assaulted by two white men who called him homophobic and racist slurs as they punched him and put a noose over his head.
Detectives argued that Smollett paid two acquaintances named Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who had formerly served as extras on Smollet’s Fox show “Empire”, to attack him. The two suspects also served as Smollett’s personal trainers.
Foxx removed herself from the case the day before the 2019 charges were announced, delegating decision-making in the case to her top deputy, Joseph Magats. About a month after Smollett turned himself in to the cops, the State’s Attorney’s Office dropped all charges against him.
Since then, incidents related to the case have popped up left and right. The city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Jussie claiming they spent $130,106 investigating a hate crime, which allegedly ended up being a false claim made by Smollett.
Then, Smollett countersued, naming the city of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department, detectives Michael Theis and Edward Wodnicki, former CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson, and brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo in his lawsuit. Smollet’s attorney argued that this group caused him economic harm, “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.”
The CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson, who ripped into Smollett at the time of his first indictment, was eventually fired by Mayor Lori Lightfoot for lying about drinking and driving. Recently, Smollett’s team subpoenaed a selection of documents related to the Johnson scandal, most likely in hopes that it will help paint Johnson as an untrustworthy source in Smollett’s countersuit.
Smollet has consistently denied making up attack claims.