A Cook County, Illinois grand jury has returned a six-count indictment against actor Jussie Smollett for making false reports to police that he was a victim of a hate crime, a special prosecutor said Tuesday.
The former “Empire” star, who is gay and black, said he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack near his Chicago apartment on January 29, 2019.
Chicago police investigated the case as a hate crime but later said the actor orchestrated the incident and paid two men who were acquaintances from the TV show on which he starred to stage the incident for publicity. Smollett has repeatedly denied making up or orchestrating the attack.
Dan K. Webb, the special prosecutor assigned to investigate how local prosecutors handled the actor's case, said in a statement that Smollett’s prosecution is “in the interest of justice.”