Jussie Smollett is back in the news after racking up six new charges of disorderly conduct. The half-dozen charges are leveled against the former Empire actor after he filed false police reports that claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019. According to CBS Chicago, a grand jury in Cook County announced the new indictment on Tuesday, which followed a six-month investigation by special prosecutor Dan Webb.
The prosecutor was appointed by Judge Michael Toomin back in August. His task was to investigate Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's and her handling of the case, as well as whether or not Smollett should be further prosecuted for allegedly staging a fake hate crime that painted him as the victim. Webb's office has released a statement on the matter.
"The grand jury's investigation revealed that Jussie Smollett planned and participated in a staged hate crime attack, and thereafter made numerous false statements to Chicago Police Department officers on multiple occasions, reporting a heinous hate crime that he, in fact, knew had not occurred."
Last year, prosecutors dropped 16 disorderly conduct charges against Smollett, roughly a month after Chicago police accused him of orchestrating an elaborate hoax due to his contention with the salary he received on the Fox drama Empire.
The issue started more than a year ago when Smollett told police that he was attacked by strangers while walking home in the early hours of Jan. 29, 2019. The actor, who is black and openly gay, claimed two men beat him, shouted racial slurs, and dumped an unidentified chemical on him.
Police argued that Smollett had paid the two men to stage the attack. While the initial charges were dropped, the actor paid $10,000 in bail and was sentenced to 16 hours of community service, though he was not required to admit guilt in the matter.
Attorneys for Ola and Abel Osundairo, the two men who allegedly attacked Smollett, said that the two were "fully committed to the public knowing the truth about what occurred." They maintain that they only participated in the attack because they were paid by Smollett to do so.
Smollett later accused Chicago police of malicious prosecution after claiming many of his wounds from the alleged attack were self-inflicted. Smollet has maintained his innocence in the matter, claiming he was the victim of "mass public ridicule and harm." The city of Chicago, meanwhile, is suing the actor to recover the $130,000 cost of the investigation.