Orlando Sentinel reports after a year of scathing headlines, escalating legal battles and bizarre tabloid twists, former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett will soon find himself in the same place he was last February — facing charges in a Cook County courtroom alleging he staged a hate crime on himself.
A special Cook County grand jury on Tuesday indicted the actor on six counts of disorderly conduct alleging he orchestrated the racist and homophobic attack on a frigid night in downtown Chicago.
The allegations were nearly identical to charges brought — and then mysteriously dropped — by Cook County prosecutors last year, adding more controversy to a case that’s sparked months of breathless international media coverage and become the defining issue in the upcoming state’s attorney primary election.
Smollett, 37, is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Feb. 24, nearly a year to the day that he appeared in the same courthouse to face the original charges.
Jussie’s lawyer has now issued the following statement: