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Jussie Smollett’s high-profile trial is set to begin 33 months after the alleged racial, homophobic attack occurred. Now Cook County jury members will be tasked to decide whether the actor staged the attack or not.
The former “Empire” star is facing charges for filing false police reports and costing the city of Chicago hundreds of thousands of dollars in the investigation of the fake attack.
In late January 2019, Smollett alleged two men attacked him while yelling antigay, racist, and pro Donald Trump slogans. He told the police that the attackers beat him and tied a noose around his neck. Upon investing, authorities soon discovered the actor had fabricated the event.
On Monday, he will begin being tried for six counts of disorderly conduct for making fictitious reports to authorities.
This trial has been delayed due to events like the charges being dropped and refiled and an inquiry into Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the investigation. Delays were also attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The trial is expected to last roughly a week. It will begin with jury selection which could be finalized within a couple of days.
Smollett’s legal representation claims he has been unfairly assumed to be guilty. The actor has maintained that he told the truth about the altercation. His Lawyer in 2019 stated that Smollett had paid the men for personal training, not to commit an assault on him.
His career was faltered by the charges. Fox’s TV drama “Empire” removed his character from the show.
Chicago Police Department charged the actor with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report in February 2019. During the investigation, authorities discovered the alleged attackers were brothers who knew Smollett. One of them even appeared in an episode of “Empire.”
A civil suit has also been brought against Smollett by the city of Chicago. They cited extensive costs associated with the investigation like costs, damages, and attorney’s fees.
Due to the actor residing in California and not Illinois, the case was moved from local court to federal district court in late 2019. This litigation has been suspended pending the criminal trial, according to an official in Chicago.
Many believe the actor has a hard road ahead of him to prove he told the truth in court.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Chicago Tribune: Jussie Smollett to go on trial in alleged hoax attack that once captivated Chicago; by Megan Crepeau and Jason Meisner
The Wall Street Journal: Actor Jussie Smollett’s Criminal Trial to Begin After Years of Delay; by Ben Kesling
Top and Featured Courtesy of Jeffrey’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Dominick D’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons LicenseJussie Smollett Trial Set to Begin After Years of Delays