Jussie Smollett, the former “Empire” actor who was accused of staging a fake racist and homophobic attack about a year ago in Chicago, has been indicted by a special prosecutor, according to ABC News.
Smollett, who played music mogul Lucious Lyon’s son Jamal in the hit Fox series, has been indicted by special prosecutor Dan Webb on six counts of lying to law enforcement (officially, the charges are called “disorderly conduct”), TMZ states. Smollett has been ordered to appear in court on Feb. 24, 2020. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted on all the charges.
As rolling out and national media reported last year ad nauseam, Smollett claimed that, on Jan. 31, 2019, two White males beat him up, poured a corrosive liquid on him, put a noose around his neck while yelling racist and homophobic vitriol at him at about 2 a.m.
After an investigation, the Chicago Police Department concluded that Smollett staged the beating — with the help of two Nigerian-American brothers who were extras on “Empire” — in order to amplify his national fame and improve his salary on “Empire.” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx got a 16-count felony indictment against Smollett. However, after several weeks, Foxx shocked the nation when she dropped the case abruptly, inciting outrage that extended from Chicago City Hall all the way to the White House.
The national blow back was so intense that it forced Fox executives to remove Smollett from the final season of “Empire.”
Not long after the case was dropped, a special prosecutor was appointed to review Foxx’s work and determine if there were any irregularities in her case.