Jussie Smollett indicted over claims of homophobic, racist incident

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He says the indictment “is nothing greater than a determined try to make headlines with a view to distract from the interior investigation launched to analyze the outrageous leaking of data by the Chicago Police Division and the shameless and unlawful invasion of Jussie’s privateness.”

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The indictment comes slightly greater than two weeks after prosecutors charged Smollett with a single felony depend and he was launched from Cook dinner County Jail after a buddy posted his $US100,000 ($141,000) bond.

Smollett is scheduled to seem within the courtroom on Thursday so a choose may be assigned to preside over his case and he can plead not responsible to the 16 counts.

The actor, 36, is accused of staging a phony assault on himself, then telling police he was the sufferer of a hate crime.

Smollett, who’s African-American and overtly homosexual, has stated he was strolling from a Subway sandwich store to his residence in downtown Chicago round 2am on January 29 when two males walked up, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, hit him and wrapped a noose round his neck.

Smollett stated additionally they yelled “That is MAGA nation,” referring to President Donald Trump’s marketing campaign slogan of “Make America Nice Once more.”

Police initially handled the incident as a hate crime, however their focus turned to Smollett after two brothers who have been alleged to have been his attackers advised police that Smollett had paid them $3500 to stage the assault, with a promise of one other $500 later.

Smollett in his booking photo.

Smollett in his reserving photograph.Credit score:Chicago Police Division

Police pieced collectively a lot of their proof by reviewing footage from about 55 police and personal surveillance cameras exhibiting the brothers’ actions earlier than and after the assault.

The shift within the investigation got here amid usually bitter public debate and stinging scepticism on social media – doubts that Smollett addressed in a nationwide TV interview and in a strongly worded assertion after the brothers have been launched from custody after questioning by police.

Every week earlier than the alleged assault, Smollett advised police he acquired a threatening letter at work. Witnesses advised police a postal employee dropped off the letter on the Chicago studio the place “Empire” is filmed. It was postmarked in Bedford Park, a southwest Chicago suburb, on January 18 and bore two American flag stamps. The letters “MAGA” have been handwritten within the higher left nook of the envelope.

Prosecutors stated Smollett staged the assault as a result of he was sad with the studio’s response to the threatening letter. Chicago police took it a step additional, accusing Smollett of faking the letter as effectively.

The letter is the topic of a separate federal investigation.

On February 21, the day Smollett was initially charged, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blasted the actor, saying the hoax dragged “Chicago’s repute by means of the mud.”

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