Actor Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury

Actor Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury

Smollett was charged on February 20 with one count of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

The actor, who is now on bail, was suspended from Empire in February over the case, with his character written out of the last two episodes of the show's current season. He alleged that brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo beat him, placed a noose around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him before fleeing.

Smollett stated there were two men involved and though he couldn't physically identify their faces, they were white.

Police say Smollett - who gained fame on Fox musical drama "Empire" - staged the attack in a bid to gain publicity and a bigger paycheck.


The counts in the indictment obtained by CNN say Smollett gave statements to a Chicago police officer after the incident and to a detective.

The indictment further expands the case against Smollett.

Smollett has been accused by Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson of fabricating the attack as a way of negotiating for a better salary on Empire.

Each of the charges carries a potential sentence of up to four years, though local media reports "experts" believe he might strike a plea deal to avoid prison.


Smollett, who was arrested last month on a criminal complaint with a single count of disorderly conduct, will be arraigned on the new charges on Thursday. He and his attorneys have denied having anything to do with staging an assault. Police have obtained the original check.

Police allege the brothers wore gloves during the incident and bruises and scratches on his face were self-inflicted.

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.

FILE PHOTO: Jussie Smollett exits Cook County Department of Corrections after posting bail in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., February 21, 2019. Witnesses told police a postal worker dropped off the letter at the Chicago studio where "Empire" is filmed. Police obtained and released images of two people they would like to question, calling them "persons of interest".


The TV actor claimed he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in the Streeterville neighborhood on January 29.

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