Former Empire star Jussie Smollett will be heading back to court to face charges on the hate crime that he faked over a year ago.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb indicted the actor on Tuesday, February 11 with the new charges. This means that Smollett will have to head back to court to defend himself against the criminal charges that could land him in jail. He faces six counts of disorderly conduct for falsely reporting the hate crime.
Charges against the actor were initially dropped last year by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. The move was met with a lot of criticism though, even by the Chicago Police Department. Foxx later recused herself from the case due to connections to the actor’s family.
Special prosecutor Webb responded to the news with a small comment to Deadline saying, “Further prosecution of Jussie Smollett is in the interest of justice.”
Smollett has always denied any wrongdoing in the charges against him. His lawyer, Tina Glandian, released a new statement on the matter and blame court politics for the new charges. “After more than five months of investigation, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has not found any evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever related to the dismissal of the charges against Mr. Smollett.” Glandian said in the statement.
“Rather, the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence. The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State’s Attorney election is clearly all about politics not justice.”
Meanwhile, the two brothers who were initially believed to be the ones who attacked Smollett before it was revealed the crime was staged continue to be cooperative and maintain their side of the story.
They released a statement through their lawyer Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez as well stating, “As stated before, they are fully committed to the public knowing the truth about what occurred on January 29, 2019.” Adding that, “The Osundairo brothers will continue to cooperate with that process and they thank the Special Prosecutor’s office for their tireless work in seeing that justice was administered.”
Smollett, who reportedly masterminded the false hate crime for a pay increase, was let go from Empire last year and didn’t appear in the final episodes of season 5. He was not reinstated for the show’s final season either.