Jussie Smollett has been indicted on new charges in relation to his alleged attack hoax.
The ‘Empire’ star was accused of having orchestrated a racist and homophobic attack on himself back in January 2019, and whilst original charges against him - which included 16 felony counts of lying to police - were eventually dropped, he is now facing fresh charges over a year after the alleged attack.
According to news outlets in Chicago, Smollett has been indicted by a special Cook County grand jury on six counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly making four separate false reports about the attack.
In a press release, Special Prosecutor Dan Webb announced: "A Cook County grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Jussie Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime.”
Webb’s team decided to bring charges against Smollett after looking at the “extensive nature” of his alleged falsehoods, as well as the amount of time and money the Chicago Police Department put into the investigation.
Smollett forfeited his $10 000 (about R147 000) in bond money in exchange for the first case’s dismissal, which Webb noted is less than 10 percent of the approximately $130 000 the police spent on overtime in the case.
The 37-year-old actor is expected in court on February 24, where the trial process will begin all over again, with a new judge and jury.
Meanwhile, after charges against him were dropped, local officials in Chicago sued Smollett for around $500 000 to cover various costs, including to compensate for the overtime pay for police who investigated his case.
And in response, Smollett filed his own lawsuit seeking to sue the City of Chicago "for their conduct underlying the arrest and their conduct thereafter."