Jussie Smollett’s defense team responded to a Tuesday indictment on charges relating to accusations that the actor paid two acquaintances to stage an attack on him last year, saying that the new case “is clearly all about politics, not justice.”
“This indictment raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation that led to the renewed charges against Mr. Smollett, not the least of which is the use of the same CPD detectives who were part of the original investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett to conduct the current investigation, despite Mr. Smollett’s pending civil claims against the City of Chicago and CPD officers for malicious prosecution,” the statement from Smollett’s lawyers reads.
A Cook County grand jury brought a six-count indictment against Smollett on Tuesday for “making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime,” following an investigation by special prosecutor Dan Webb that began in August.
Smollett still faces a civil suit from the city of Chicago to reimburse the city for its investigations of his accusations.
Smollett, who is a gay African-American, told police last year that he was attacked near his home after midnight on January 29, 2019. He claimed that two men put a noose around his neck and shouted, “this is MAGA country,” along with racist and anti-gay slurs.
The Chicago police later announced that they had uncovered significant evidence that Smollett had in fact staged the attack after hiring two acquaintances to help boost his career.
The former actor was then indicted by a grand jury on sixteen charges, including a felony charge for filing a false police report, but the charges were later dropped by prosecutor Kim Foxx, sparking a public outcry.