Thursday, June 13, 2024

“Empire” Star Jussie Smollett Indicted in Chicago on 16 Felony Counts for His Claims of False Attack


“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a Chicago grand jury on 16 felony counts for making his claims of a false racial attack. The charges are for disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. Each charge carries a sentence of 4 years probation.

As we all know by now, Smollett said he was attacked outside his Chicago hotel on January 29th by two men who he said poured a chemical on him and yelled racial and anti-gay slurs at him. He said they wore red MAGA hats.

It turned out, after weeks of back and forth, that he’d staged the attack himself, including put a noose around his neck. Earlier, he’d sent a threatening letter to himself at the “Empire” studio which he thought no one took seriously.

The motive, it’s alleged, was money. Smollett didn’t think he was being paid enough for “Empire.”

Ironically, it was “Empire” creator Lee Daniels and Danny Strong who were first to jump to Smollett’s defense after the attack.  Their level of shock and disappointment must be very high.

Smollett, 29, had everything: a hit acting career, a singing career that he was launching, and hot prospects post-Empire. It remains a mystery how he self-destructed. It will be very hard for him to re-establish a career. “Empire” is in the process of writing him out of the show now.

Smollett has pleaded not guilty to all charges and posted a $100,000 bond to be released.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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