Jussie Smollett was indicted by a grand jury on six counts of disorderly conduct because he allegedly lied to Chicago police when he reported a racist and homophobic attack last year, special prosecutor Dan Webb announced Tuesday.
The 37-year-old former “Empire” actor had previously been charged with disorderly conduct last February for allegedly staging the attack and lying about it to investigators. A month later, the charges were dropped.
In August, Webb was appointed as a special prosecutor and asked to investigate why they had been dropped and on Tuesday, he announced that Smollett had been charged again.
In a statement, Smollett’s lawyer accused the renewed charges of being political.
“After more than five months of investigation, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has not found any evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever related to the dismissal of the charges against Mr. Smollett,” the attorney said, in part. “Rather, the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence.”
According to Webb’s statement, obtained by Fox 32, Smollett is set to appear in court for his arraignment on Feb. 24.
As the case continues to move forward, here are five things to know about Jussie Smollett.
He’s been acting since 1991
Smollett’s first role in film and television was in the 1991 TV-movie “A Little Piece of Heaven,” according to IMDb. He was 9 years old when it aired.
The next year, Smollett had a role in “The Mighty Ducks” and in 1994, he starred in Rob Reiner’s film “North,” alongside Elijah Wood, Bruce Willis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Alexander. Smollett also had roles in the film “Alien: Covenant” in 2017 and television show “Underground” in 2016.
In 2015, he landed the role of Jamal Lyon in “Empire.”
He has a big family
Smollett is one of six siblings, who all starred in the sitcom “On Our Own” from 1994 to 1995.
“We were like the Swiss Family Robinson,” Smollett told The New York Times in 2016.
The siblings also had a show on Food Network in 2016 called “Smollett Eats.”
He came out to Ellen DeGeneres in 2015
Smollett, who is gay, came out publicly on “Ellen” in 2015 in a backstage interview with the comedian and host, according to a report from E! at the time.
“It was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet," he said in the interview.
"There's never been a closet that I've been in. I don't own a closet, I got a dress, but I don't have a closet…I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home,” he added.
He released an album in 2018
Chicago sued him for $130,000
Last March, after the charges against Smollett were dropped, Chicago sued the actor over the cost of the police investigation into the alleged hate crime.
The $130,000 bill included the cost of overtime pay for dozens of Chicago police officers and other resources deployed as authorities investigated the alleged crime, and ultimately opted to charge Smollett for filing a false police report, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
In October, a federal judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit, allowing the city to continue proceedings against Smollett.
This report contains material from previous FOX Business stories.