Jussie Smollet just got some more bad news from authorities in Chicago. He has been indicted 16, yes, 16 felony counts for allegedly faking a hate crime against himself and reporting it to police.
The Cook County state attorney’s office confirmed the indictments to ABC 7 on Friday.
The “Empire” actor was arrested two weeks earlier and charged with a felony of disorderly conduct for falsely reporting to police that he was a victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
When Smollett, 36, first reported the incident, he claimed that two men yelled “racial and homophobic slurs” at him before physically attacking him. He also said that the men “poured an unknown chemical substance on him” and that one man wrapped a rope around his neck.
However, his story started falling a part when police and the FBI launched an investigation into the alleged attack. At that point, the focus began to shift to Smollett. In late February, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson accused Smollett of lying about the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on “Empire.”
If you’re curious as to why there are so many counts, it’s because the grand jury reportedly delivered 2 sets of charges: one for Smollett’s initial report to Chicago PD, and the other charges are for Jussie’s second interview with cops.
Meanwhile, the two brothers who took part in the alleged scheme, Ola and Abel Osundairo, told grand jurors Smollett hired them to stage the so-called “attack.” The brothers were caught on camera buying a bunch of supplies before the incident … including ski masks, gloves, bandanas, sunglasses and red hats.
Police also accused Smollett of sending himself a letter filled with homophobic and racial slurs, then paying two brothers $3,500 to stage an attack. but, as far the letter, the brothers told police they had nothing to do with it, and only saw it in a photo on Jussie’s phone.
After the initial felony charge, the actor’s lawyers maintained that Smollett was an innocent victim. They also accused police of carrying out an “organized law enforcement spectacle” against Smollett.