Almost a year later, Jussie Smollett has been indicted again.
The actor, who police last year accused of staging a fake hate crime against himself, on Tuesday was indicted on six disorderly conduct charges by a grand jury, NBC News reports.
Smollett filed a police report in January 2019 after he claimed two men attacked him in Chicago, putting a noose around his neck, yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him, and saying, "This is MAGA country." But police soon alleged Smollett actually orchestrated the attack himself because he was unhappy with his salary on Empire. The following month, though, 16 felony counts against Smollett were suddenly dropped.
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The Cook County State's Attorney's Office at the time described this as an "appropriate resolution," citing his "volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the city of Chicago," while then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted what he called a "whitewash of justice." Back in August, a special prosecutor, Dan Webb, was appointed to investigate the handling of the Smollett case, and Webb announced the new charges on Tuesday.
"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," the special prosecutor's office said, per NBC.
Smollett, who was written off Empire in 2019 and has not returned since, has maintained his innocence and denied staging the attack. "Now I'd like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life," he said last year. The New York Times reports he's due in court on Feb. 24.
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