Jussie Smollett Is Indicted Again on Charges of Staging a Hate Crime


A grand jury in Chicago has revived the criminal case against the actor Jussie Smollett, indicting him Tuesday on charges that he staged a hate crime attack on himself. The indictment came 11 months after prosecutors dropped similar charges against him.

The new charges were announced by a special prosecutor, Dan K. Webb, who was assigned to the case after a judge ruled that the Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, had not properly handled it the first time.

Mr. Smollett was charged a year ago with filing a false police report after the Chicago police concluded that he had paid two brothers to stage an attack on him in which they shouted homophobic and racial slurs and yelled, “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan. The police said Mr. Smollett was looking for publicity because he was unhappy with his salary on the television show “Empire,” which dropped him from the cast after his arrest.

The police had built a case based on surveillance camera footage, interviews with the brothers, text exchanges between the men and Mr. Smollett, and a check he had given them. None of the text exchanges explicitly mentioned a staged attack, and Mr. Smollett maintained that the money was to hire the brothers to physically train him for an upcoming video.


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