Jussie Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts by a grand jury in Chicago for allegedly staging a phony racist and homophobic attack against himself, sources said Friday.
The 36-year-old actor was hit Thursday with the disorderly conduct charges for allegedly filing a false police report and lying to cops, according to the Cook County State Attorney’s Office.
Smollett, who is black and gay, was originally charged with just one felony count of disorderly conduct on Feb. 20 after claiming that he was attacked in late January by two masked men, who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him and put his neck in a noose.
“Jussie Smollett knew that at the time … there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed,” the indictment states, according to CBS Chicago.
The indictment, which expands the criminal case against the actor, centers on allegedly false statements he gave to two Chicago cops.
On Friday, Chicago cops called the actor’s alleged hate crime hoax a disgrace to the city.
“Allegations against Mr. Smollett are shameful & if proven, they are an affront to the people of Chicago who embraced him as a neighbor & respected him as a role model. We stand behind the work of detectives,” Chicago Police Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielm tweeted.
Smollett is accused of recruiting two men to orchestrate the attack because he was upset with his pay on the TV show, police have said.
Smollett, who has denied playing a role in the Jan. 29 incident, is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14. Source: NY Post