Empire star Jussie Smollett indicted over assault claim

10 March, 2019, 00:41 | Author: Courtney Perry
  • Actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail following his release in Chicago Feb. 21 2019.
Kamil Krzaczynski  AP File

According to previous police recitations of Smollett's story, he reported that two masked men approached him on the street in the early hours of January 29 shouting racial and homophobic slurs, struck him in the face, doused him with an "unknown chemical substance" and wrapped a rope around his neck before they fled.

Whispers about Smollett's potential role in the alleged attack started with reports that he had not fully cooperated with police, and word that detectives in a city full of surveillance cameras could not find video of the attack.

Police have said, however, that Smollett was cooperating with the investigation, and later gave investigators a PDF file with partial phone records.

The second set are related to another interview Smollet had with police later on the same day.

Empire star Jussie Smollett will be going into the weekend with a legal anvil hanging over his head.

After Smollett was charged in February, Superintendent Eddie Johnson of the Chicago Police Department claimed Smollett had staged the alleged attack because he was "dissatisfied" with his salary and described it as a "publicity stunt".

According to initial reports of the incident, two men attacked Smollett while yelling racial and homophobic slurs. He also noted that a noose was placed around his neck and a chemical was poured on him. Police say that in fact, the two men who have admitted taking part in the staged attack are both black.

Smollett is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14, however, ABC 7 reported that experts believe it is likely he will strike a plea deal and potentially not spend time in prison.

Actor and singer Jussie Smollett said he was attacked in Chicago by two masked men who used derogatory language and put a rope around his neck.

Smollett, who was given the presumption of being a victim until the latter stages of the investigation, was the third person arrested in the case. Chicago police say they are conducting an internal investigation to determine the source of information leaked anonymously to media during the probe into "Empire" actor Smollett's claims he was attacked.

Just one of the felony charges carries the a three-year sentence behind bars if Smollett is convicted, which means the 36 year old could potentially spend decades in jail.


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