Jussie Smollett Indicted on 16 Felony Charges After Alleged Hate Crime Hoax

Update 3/9/2019: Smollett's lawyer Mark Geragos gave the following statement in response to the actor's indictment:

"The fact of an indictment was not unexpected. We knew that there is no way they would expose their evidence to a public airing and subject their witnesses to cross-examination. What is unexpected, however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie. This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie's privacy in tampering with his medical records. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption."


Empire star Jussie Smollett will be going into the weekend with a legal anvil hanging over his head. According to CBS Chicago, the actor was indicted Friday by a grand jury with 16 felony counts of filing a false police report, after reportedly faking a hate crime in January.

The indictment means that Chicago police presented the grand jury with enough evidence to try Smollett for the 16 charges. The actor will be arraigned Friday, March 14, to formally hear the charges and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

According to the indictment, Smollett claimed that he was attacked by two men around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, one of whom was wearing a mask. His family later called the incident "a racial and homophobic hate crime." However, the investigation led by Chicago police led to two Nigerian brothers who claimed that Smollett paid for the attack with a check. Police claim Smollett orchestrated the attack due to disgruntlement with his Empire paycheck; the actor has denied those accusations.

Smollett has been written out of the rest of Empire's fifth season, which is currently airing on Fox. The studio that produces the series declined to comment on Smollett's indictment.

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Mar 11, 2019
America is a country so great you have to pay people to discriminate against you. LOL. Well as least he did help employ two black people instead of giving the job two more whities


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Mar 12, 2019
“whities” is not a race you dumb Racist Cunt, go Fuck yourself. Also it’s “to” not “two” fucken moron.
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Mar 10, 2019
He wasted valuable police resources that could have gone to solving or stopping real crimes just because he wanted some attention. I hope they hit him with the strongest sentence possible to discourage other prima donnas from dicking around with the police.
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Mar 10, 2019
""The fact of an indictment was not unexpected. We knew that there is no way they would expose their evidence to a public airing and subject their witnesses to cross-examination."

Apparently Geragos isn't familiar with how grand juries work. You don't present the full evidence and cross-examine witnesses during grand jury hearings. The DA presents enough to get an indictment from the grand jury.

The full presentation of evidence and the cross-examination of the witnesses comes at the trial, after the indictment is handed down by the grand jury.

Let's hope Smolett gets a lawyer who understands how the U.S. legal system works. Or watches TV: they covered this on The Rockford Files among others 30+ years ago.


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Mar 10, 2019
FYI, here's the episode I was referring to.

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Mar 10, 2019
Is it a hoax about an alleged hate crime? Or an alleged hoax about a hate crime? Or an alleged hoax about an alleged hate crime?
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Mar 09, 2019
Good, serves this moron right.
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Mar 09, 2019
Very true.
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