Jussie Smollett indicted by special prosecutor

Entertainment

FILE – In this March 26, 2019 file photo, former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett smiles and waves to supporters before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped in Chicago. Smollett says his $10,000 payment after the close of a criminal case should prevent Chicago from seeking reimbursement for a police investigation of his claim that he was a victim of a racist and homophobic attack. Smollett’s attorneys filed a response to Chicago’s lawsuit Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. They also filed a counterclaim against the city, saying Smollett was the victim of a malicious prosecution. Smollett told police he was beaten by two men. Police said it was staged.(AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)

CHICAGO — Actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a special prosecutor.

It reportedly stems from Smollett claiming he was the target of a hateful attack in Streeterville last year.

WGN has confirmed he’s been indicted on six counts of disorderly conduct.

No warrant has been issued.

He’s due in court Feb. 24.

The state’s attorney’s office charged Smollett in February 2019 with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for purportedly orchestrating the incident. However, it dropped all of the charges a month later with little explanation, angering city officials and the police.

Smollett told police he was walking home early on Jan. 29 when two masked men approached him, made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing. He said his assailants, at least one of whom he said was white, told him he was in “MAGA country” — a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Several weeks later, authorities alleged that Smollett had paid two black friends $3,500 to help him stage the attack because he was unhappy with his salary as an actor on “Empire” and wanted to drum up publicity for his career.

A former state appellate judge, Sheila O’Brien, petitioned for a special prosecutor, leading to Toomin’s surprise ruling in June that one was warranted.

Toomin appointed Dan Webb in August.

We will update this story once more information becomes available.

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