Almost a year after charges were dropped against Empire star Jussie Smollett, the actor was charged once again on Tuesday in connection to the allegedly false police report he filed last year, insisting he was attacked by two men in Chicago.
What We Know:
- The indictment was handed down after what police say was a five-month investigation led by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb. In a statement, Webb’s office said Smollett filed four separate false police reports claiming he was a victim of a hate crime.
- Webb’s team decided to bring charges against Smollett after looking at the “extensive nature” of his alleged falsehoods, as well as the amount of time and money the Chicago Police Department put into the investigation.
- The new charges against Smollett come weeks after an Illinois judge ordered Google to turn over 12 months of Smollett’s personal electronic data to Webb.
- Smollett’s lawyer, Tina Glandian, said the special prosecutor’s use of police detectives who took part in the original investigation of her client raised “serious questions about the integrity” of his renewed prosecution brought on for political reasons.
- Smollett has insisted he told the truth when he reported that he was accosted on the street in January 2019 by two masked men who threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressions of support for President Donald Trump.
- The 37-year-old actor is expected in court on February 24, where the trial process will begin all over again, with a new judge and jury.
Legal experts have said double jeopardy is not an issue because Smollett was never put on trial in the first place.