Jussie Smollett hit with a six-count indictment for the 2019 ‘staged assault’

Jussie Smollett's Mugshot

The Jussie Smollett situation is way too complicated to even recap, but I’ll try to hit the broad strokes: in January 2019, Smollett called the police and claimed he was brutally assaulted by two ski-mask-wearing men who were maybe Trump supporters or something. He alleged that they put a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him in the dead of night in Chicago. The story of his attack didn’t make a lot of sense, and there wasn’t a lot of evidence. Police quickly came to the conclusion that sh-t didn’t add up, and within a few weeks, it became clear that police were investigating Smollett for staging the attack. By March ‘19, Smollett had been charged with sixteen felony counts in connection to the “staged assault.” Then… two weeks later, all of the charges were dropped. There was outrage and rumors of a payoff or some kind of political pull or something. I still don’t really understand everything that happened there, but people were super-mad about the dropped charges. And… now Smollett has been indicted, about 11 months after the charges were dropped.

Jussie Smollett has been hit with a six-count indictment accusing him of faking a hate crime last year. The indictment comes 11 months after the state’s attorney’s office dropped charges against the “Empire” actor in a controversial deal. Smollett is due in court on Feb. 24. Dan K. Webb, a retired U.S. attorney, was appointed as a special prosecutor in August to review the case. In a statement Tuesday, Webb said he had filed the charges “in the interest of justice.”

“Several factors went into this determination, including the extensive nature of Mr. Smollett’s false police reports, and the resources expended by the Chicago Police Department to investigate these false reports,” Webb said in the statement. Webb also noted that the state’s attorney’s office had failed to offer a good reason for dismissing the charges, and said a full report on the prosecutors’ conduct would be issued later.

Smollett’s criminal attorney, Tina Glandian, said in a statement on Tuesday evening that the indictment raises “serious questions about the integrity of the investigation,” noting that the special prosecutor relied on the same Chicago detectives who conducted the original investigation. She noted that Smollett is suing one of the detectives who testified against him to the grand jury,

“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,” Glandian said. “Rather, the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence. The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State’s Attorney election is clearly all about politics not justice.”

[From Variety]

Yeah… I never believed that Smollett’s story added up, but I also felt like Chicago police kind of messed up the investigation from the jump? No disrespect. One of my pet theories was that Tina Glandian’s move to drop the 16-count felony charges was because she got a good look at the police investigation and THEIR work didn’t add up, and/or she thought Smollett had been grossly overcharged. However, I’m open to other theories and I know there are a lot of them. I really just wish that this Smollett case wasn’t still happening.

Jussie Smollett leaves court after all charges are dropped against him

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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51 Responses to “Jussie Smollett hit with a six-count indictment for the 2019 ‘staged assault’”

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  1. Joanna says:

    Obviously he shouldn’t have faked it. But the way Trump supporters have blasted him for this while simultaneously swallowing and defending every lie Trump spews is a sickening double standard.

  2. HK9 says:

    He shouldn’t have done it and the truth is out. I just don’t see this as a good use of taxpayer money, and at this point they should just move on.

  3. Curious2 says:

    @Joanna: Politics has nothing to do with how people feel about his fake claims. His actions hurt those who really do face that racist kind of crap.

    • Leigh says:

      It’s not just “politics.” Trump has committed much worse crimes that have hurt a lot more people and he deserves to be prosecuted.

  4. Prettykrazee says:

    Yeah no one is still mad that those charges were dropped but fools on twitter and the a Chicago Police! Were people upset in the beginning? Yes. But are people really like Jussie needs to be behind bars? Chicago Police had to go get a special prosecutor bc no way the Black Woman knows her job well enough not to pursue. This is Chicago Police force

    • Jillian says:

      YES. Chicagoan here: the people of this city would like resources spent on actual crime, not this press and political bullshit

      • Chelle says:

        Another Chicagoan here. Of course we have crime here but our sh*t isn’t usually this moronic. Stupid. Yeah. Heinous. Yeah. Petty. Check that box too. But moronic. Hell no. Even when he said a noose was thrown around his neck (whatever was reported) or even the homophobic sh*t, not only is that not in keeping with the types of crime that occur in the area in which he lived BUT the type of assault he described really doesn’t happen around here anymore—not at the street level anyway. Can you still get your ass kicked for being gay/trans as the primary cause? Mmm. Yeah. Maybe. Depending where you are and the circumstances. (And that’s not to undercut assaults to people in that community). Can you still get your ass kicked for being black/African American? Mmm. Maybe but not usually as a primary cause anymore. (And, once again, that’s not to undercut the assaults to people who were victimized).

        His stuff was just over the top in terms of going for complexity and drama. Our crime is more straightforward, if you will. For example, there was a homeless man who’d assault people on the L (subway) by hitting them in the face with a feces filled sock. You may think that’s over the top too. Nope. Outrageous. Yes. Disgusting. Yes. But it’s in keeping with having to keep your eye on mentally ill homeless people who are constantly moving throughout the train and acting suspicious. He’d hit his victim and move on by running off the train.

        Another thing to note, the DA is running for re-election and it would help her to have this behind her or to look as if her office is cleaning the Smollett case up and closing is out for good.

      • Anna says:

        @Chelle omg that feces-filled sock!!!! That shit was out of control (pun intended) Man, I remember when I heard that story and was like, this is why I don’t take any CTA trains anymore, used to be on red line daily, now the bus which feels much less likely to encounter that kind of thing. I was in fear for awhile after that, watching my back for a flying sock lol

      • Chelle says:

        Girl, I know. That sh*t-filled sock was crazy. It’s not funny but everybody was on edge. 😂😂 And he was riding the Red line for awhile.

  5. pottymouth pup says:

    I wonder if they would have done this if Smollett hadn’t made noise about suing the city last year

    • Ainsley7 says:

      I kinda thought the charges were drop so that he wouldn’t sue in the first place. The police really showed how corrupt they are during the investigation. So, maybe him deciding to sue anyway is what triggered him being charged again.

  6. JoJo says:

    I believe he’s innocent. I can’t wait for the defense team to poke holes in this case.Several of the cops working on his case have had complaints filed against them.The superintendent of police who was fired for lying also lied about the motive,Jussie was not asking for more money (salary).The brothers lawyer admitted the money he gave them was for training.There are two witnesses who saw a white man with a rope.Google it
    After he is found not guilty I hope he gets a multimillion settlement in the civil case.The City of Chicago has paid hundreds of millions due to misconduct by their corrupt cops.H

    • JoJo says:

      I forgot to add it doesn’t matter if they used a special prosecutor because the same cops were doing the investigation.The detectives even flew to LA.So they are suing him for money spent on first investigation and then they spent even more money on second investigation.But who cares it’s the taxpayers money just like the money spent on all the settlements in other police misconduct cases.
      It’s a good thing there are no other unsolved homicides in Chicago to spend that money on.#sarcasm

    • jules says:

      this is as delusional as smollet!

    • J says:

      You’re funny.

    • Lboogi says:

      Girl…. the Chicago police have waaaay more business to do than frame Jussie Smollet…. like dude isn’t he biggest star. He’s not even the biggest star that we have in Chicago on a regular basis. Who is Jussie? What power or influence does he have that the Chicago Police system felt needed taking down?

      I’m a Chicagoan, and certainly no fan of most cops (of any city) but seriously…. the man lied. It was -50 that night, particularly where he was due to lake effect windchill. No one, not even the crazed homeless were out that night.

  7. Nope says:

    Chicagoan here. Everyone took issue with cook county states attorney Kim fox for taking phone calls with the family and Michelle Obama’s advisor. She said she recused herself from the case but they found that she didn’t. She has political aspirations beyond the SAO. The most telling is how Fox made a big deal about how they treated him similar to other cases but yet couldn’t provide the special prosecutor any examples that backed that claim. I think he should be prosecuted. It’s a mess typical of Chicago.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Also a Chicagoan here. And the investigation so far has shown no such thing. What I DO find interesting is how in the middle of an election year the special prosecutor decides to re-indict.

    • Me Again says:

      My ex-fiance (we’re still good friends) lives in Chicago and has said and agrees with everything you have stated @Nope.

    • Chelle says:

      Another Chicagoan here too. I posted above that it needs to be noted that Kim Fox, the DA, is running for re-election and that it would help her to have this case cleaned up. She’s going to take a hit for it. The damage is done on that but to clean it up would be helpful to her in some regards.

    • Sarah says:

      There is no reason to drag Michelle Obama’s name into that nonsense.

    • holly hobby says:

      I think it all boils down to misconduct (the State Atty’s General in this case). She dismissed the case and can’t explain why- there was no concrete fact as to why. She didn’t say the cops were crooked etc.

      The special prosecutor did say another report will be rolled out about how the Atty General’s office handled this. Watch for that one.

  8. Sarah says:

    It would be nice if they put this much energy and resources into prosecuting violent police officers and their partners in crime within the police force. For instance, while Jason Van Dyke was prosecuted, tried and found guilty, it was not the case for the three police officers who tried to cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald.

  9. dumbledork says:

    Yes, people here in Chicago do want to see him punished, along with the state’s attorney. The amount of police resources spent on this was ridiculous, and to the detriment of other crimes going on at the time. How about the little 1 year old boy, shot in the head, caught in gang fire one week after? One detective assigned to that, and almost two dozen assigned to Smollett. His celebrity status got him cleared. If he and the people guilty of this get caught, all the better.

  10. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    The judge subpoenaed Google to get one year’s worth of Jussie’s history including deleted emails and drafts of emails, and search histories. My guess is that info from Google probably proved a LOT more of Jussie’s involvement than they had before. Hopefully we’ll find out what they got from his account.

  11. minx says:

    He’s an idiot.

  12. lucy2 says:

    What a mess this all is, and what a waste of resources.
    I still can’t believe he did all this, it was so foolish – he blew up his promising career, and now has all these legal issues to deal with. And for what?

  13. Originaltessa says:

    I’m torn. The waste of resources and money was awful, but at the end of the day the only person he hurt was himself. I think punishment in this case is a fine, and he’s already lost his career and future prospects, so what else are you going to do? I think he’s mentally unstable. People do weird things in their cries for help or attention. I hate that he did this, but Prince Andrew was involved in a pedophilia ring!!!! Jussie only hurt himself. I can’t stand when justice only seems to come to the weak, stupid, and vulnerable. Jussie was obviously an idiot, possibly a sociopath… but he was clearly just trying to raise his profile. He didn’t rape or kill, and he’s being treated worse than the people who have.

    • Chelle says:

      You know. This may not fit with what you’ve said but for me his actions fall into the same or a similar category where people go off on dangerous wilderness hikes, swimming in waters that are known to be shark Infested or who just go out to these remote areas and then need rescue. I know this isn’t nice and it speaks to a punishment mentality, but a part of me is always like “leave their asses out there because they shouldn’t have been so stupid” or “if they must be rescued, then make them reimburse whatever municipality for the emergency services it took to rescue them”. That is where this case falls for me. Yes, I think he needs help but . . . This case is also complicated by the clusterf*ckery that happened with the Chicago police and the DA. So, it’s 6 in one hand for me and a 1/2 dozen in the other. I don’t know the answer.🤷🏽‍♀️

  14. eto says:

    Chicagoan here, do not care. This only makes the city look foolish.

  15. Valiantly Varnished says:

    So many people are mad at Smollet but I find the way the CPD and the special prosecutor are handling this case to be suspect AF.

    First off – even if he did lie the amount of charges against him do not hold up
    to the “crime”. 16 charges for a non-violent offense? Give me a f-cking break.
    Meanwhile the CPD success rate for solving ACTUAL violent crimes is abominable. In 2019 the CPD said their homicide clearance rate was 53% – but they were counting all the cases they closed WITHOUT an arrest. 261 murders and 152 were closed with NO ARREST.
    Meanwhile we have officers raiding the wring home – THREE TIMES – and pointing guns at black children’s faces.
    But Chicago wants to spend MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars on prosecuting Smollett?? And that doesn’t seem a tad biased to people??
    I say to everyone who is outraged about Smollet where is that same energy about the corruption, racism and overall incompetency of the CPD in regards to real crime?? Cuz y’all don’t seem to have it.

    And it is suspect AF that the special prosecutor had an entire YEAR to charge Smollett and decided to do it during an election year where Kim Foxx is running for re-election.

    I am on the fence about Smollett’s guilt. But one thing I am NOT on the fence about is how this entire case has been handled. It has been suspect from the start.

  16. JRenee says:

    This indictment and timing reeks of politics aimed against Fox. The CPD has not been pleased with her- period. This is to ensure she isn’t reelected.
    All of the cases closed under special circumstances last year and this the focus?

    As a resident of Cook county, I smell bullsh#!

    • Chelle says:

      I’m a Chicagoan too. And I said that to say this: the CPD and its Union is never happy with anyone. They want old man Daley back or that type of regime and that’s just not happening. Not anymore. Hopefully.

  17. BANANIE says:

    I think he should be prosecuted, but I also believe CPD bungled the entire situation. It’s messed up all around.

  18. Dani says:

    I think he should be held accountable for what he did. I’m not a Trump supporter or Republican but what he did was dangerous – all you need is one nut job to see him being attacked by Trump supporters and go and shoot up a rally or something- where although you may not agree with their views – they are still innocent people put in danger. I don’t think he needs to be thrown in jail for 20 years or anything ridiculous like that but I definitely think a bout of community service and a fine are in order. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. He should have used his platform and then-career to use his voice for good and become politically involved and active without resorting to violence.

  19. dumbledork says:

    Actually, little resources are being used. Detectives are actually allowed to persue the other violent crime occurring daily, instead of looking into this case. Current Prosecutor is using the exact same case file, same charges, that the former DA dropped out of the blue. And now the people are coming out of the woodwork asking why their cases were never dropped like the Smollet case. Kim Foxx has a lot to answer for. And who gives a shit if she’s up for re-election? If she can’t do her job honestly, she shouldn’t be rehired.

  20. Original Jenns says:

    Correction to the write up, Tina Glandian didn’t drop the charges because she is Smollett’s attorney. Kim Fox’s office is who dropped the charges against him. In a very shady manner, IMO. On one hand, I know first hand how precious resources and people’s time is in this system so I want to say move on. BUT it’s because of how precious those resources are that I do say, see it through to the end. He broke the law and used good will for his own benefit and hurt a million other causes, all in the same self serving action. If this was a Trump supporting saying black and illegal Mexicans beat him up, we’d be expecting a process. Smollett should get the same.

  21. Minnie says:

    Setting politics aside, I think it’s good this is happening. His charges shouldn’t have been dropped. We talk so much about privilege, but it really looked like his “celebrity privilege” had got him away with a slap on the wrist, so it’s good that he’s being held accountable for what he did, especially considering the damage he causes to actual victims of hate crimes.

    • pinetree13 says:

      That’s the part that bothers me. MAGATS and others use this whenever they want to accuse a victim of “faking” it. I’ve seen them throw it at people. It’s like, “Thanks for helping people to disbelieve victims”

  22. Audrey says:

    I was one of the first people to call him out on his shenanigans on this blog and I got a lot of negative push back. I feel Fox was shady AF, and I completely believe the Smollett concocted story. Remember, it was one of the coldest days of the year, middle of the night and two guys happen to be walking around Streeterville with a noose? C’mon. That said, I feel sorry for Smollett now. I think he has been punished enough. I think we in Chicago just need to let it go.

  23. Skittlesandkittens says:

    It’s about time. He’s guilty as sin.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I live near Chicago. While I am really confused by this case, it’s important to bear in mind the context in which it’s happening, meaning the historic and ongoing violence of the police against the Black community (not to mention severe corruption in our political sphere). The most inhumane torture, murder, you name it.

    So frankly, I would not assume the police here are telling the truth. *Especially* in dealing with a Black man. That’s just the context we have.

    Again, not saying I have a clue about this specific case, but the community context is extreme police brutality of long standing.

    Jussie Smollett isn’t accused of a violent crime. Resources should be directed elsewhere. Seriously.

  25. Sarah says:

    Wrong is wrong, keep trump or your views out of it. This elitist actor hurt other African Americans like myself with his staged crime. I want him to have consequences, never should have been dropped.

  26. Borgqueen says:

    He pulled this stunt (1) during Black History month sh*tting on the memories of those that fought the good fight to give us rights. (2) He did this in Chicago, where racial tensions and crime rates are already high. Many people supported him and this could have triggered riots. (3) His co-workers supported him and now Empire is on its last season and I heard Stars has also been cancelled. People are out of work bc of his stupidity bc he wanted a raise. (4) Those two African brothers were almost put thru the ringer. Yes Trump is guilty of the same but we should not be stooping to Trump’s level. (5) He made things harder for those who are actual victims of racial injustice. (6) He wasted public funds that could have been focused on real crimes investigations. (7) The DA that supported him will likely lose her re-election bid. SUMMARY: His foolishness hurt alot of people.