Multiple news outlets are reporting that former Empire cast member Jussie Smollett will be indicted on six counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly leading police on an expensive wild goose chase.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the 37-year-old actor will be arraigned on the charges at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on February 24, almost exactly a year since the baffling drama commenced.
It all began on January 29, 2019, when Smollett claimed that he was attacked by homophobic racists in Chicago’s New Eastside neighborhood, located directly north of Millennium Park and stretching from Michigan Avenue to Lake Michigan.
Smollett received massive national support for about three weeks, and then people began to speculate that he had staged the whole thing.
Next thing you know, Chicago police raid the home of two brothers suspected of participating in the hoax, Jussie Smollett gets indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct, and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself due to her “familiarity with potential witnesses.”
Then on March 26, roughly three months after he first reported the attack, Smollett went to court to face charges of filing a false police report and was punished with 16 hours of community service and the forfeiture of his $10,000 bond.
In a press conference the following week, former Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said, “I think this city is still owed an apology,” and former Mayor Rahm Emanuel noted that, “ten thousand dollars doesn’t even come close to the amount that was spent.”
The deal offered to Smollett marked the beginning of an FBI probe into the irregularities of the whole situation led by former US Attorney Dan Webb, who was sworn in as special prosecutor last August 23.
It also prompted the brothers accused of participating in the attack to announce their intention to sue Smollett’s attorneys for repeating that the incident was real instead of a hoax.
ALSO READ: An open letter to Jussie Smollett
Webb issued a pair of “searching sweep warrants” demanding “a trove of documentation from Jussie Smollett and his manager’s Google accounts” in January.
Yesterday, a special Cook County grand jury indicted the actor on six felony counts of disorderly conduct alleging he orchestrated the racist and homophobic attack on a frigid night in downtown Chicago.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the 37-year-old actor will be arraigned on the charges at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on February 24, nearly a year to the day that he appeared in the same courthouse to face the original charges.
Top photo: Jussie Smollett