5 Things To Know About The Jussie Smollett Case Ahead Of Trial For Alleged Attack
After the initial charges were dropped, a special prosecutor brought new charges against Smollett.
November 29, 2021 at 7:16 pm
Jury selection is expected to begin Monday in the case of former Empire star Jussie Smollett, who has been charged with lying to police after he said he was targeted in a racist and anti-gay attack in 2019. Despite the charges, Smollett still maintains his innocence, CNN reports.
Here are five things to know about Smollett's case.
The actor said he was attacked while walking home
Smollett is accused of staging the attack
The TV star faces multiple charges
Smollett was first charged with 16 felony disorderly conduct counts for allegedly reporting a staged confrontation. Those charges, however, were dropped. In 2020, he was indicted on six new counts of disorderly conduct. According to the latest accusations, Smollett planned and participated in the staging of a hate crime. He is also accused of making four separate false reports to the Chicago Police Department, Vulture reports.
It was former state attorney Kim Foxx who dropped the initial charges against Smollett. Special prosecutor Dan K. Webb then took over the case and brought the new charges in Cook County.
The actor could face up to three years in prison if found guilty.
Police obtained evidence against Smollett
Wodnicki said the actor only had a few scratches on his face and some bruising. Police also said the scratches may have been self-inflicted. Investigators later identified the Osundairo brothers, who provided evidence of receiving payment from Smollett.
Prosecutors said Smollett gave a $100 bill to the brothers to buy clothing and rope for a noose, then instructed them not to bring their phones to the attack.
Smollett maintains his innocence
The Empire star has pled not guilty to all charges. His attorneys released a statement, saying, “Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked.”
Smollett spoke outside the courthouse after the initial charges were dropped in 2019.
"I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one," he said, according to Vulture. "This has been an incredibly difficult time. Honestly, one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and a man who has knowledge of my history and would not bring my family, our lives and the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t."
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