WHOA: Grand Jury Indicts Actor Over Hate Crime Hoax On 16 Counts

Jussie Smollett is in a world of trouble. The actor claimed he was attacked by two men in MAGA hats who poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck. But the story fell apart under scrutiny and authorities believed it was a hoax.

Now a grand jury has indicted him on 16 counts. That’s huge and not in a good way for Smollett.

CBS News in Chicago reports:

Jussie Smollett Case: Grand Jury Returns 16 Counts Against ‘Empire’ Actor

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Jussie Smollett is now facing deeper legal troubles after a grand jury returned 16 felony counts against the actor for falsely reporting a hate crime attack against him in January.

The grand jury returned the disorderly conduct charges on Thursday. He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14. The specific allegations–“false report of offense”– are Class 4 felonies.

“Jussie Smollett knew that at the time … there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed,” according to the indictment.

The indictment expands the case against the actor. The counts focus on allegedly false statements he made to two different Chicago Police officers. Each count covers various alleged acts that Smollett falsely described to the officers–including that he was hit by two men, that they yelled racial and homophobic slurs and poured a chemical on him.

Here’s the worst part for Smollett. These are just the charges from the local police. He is likely to face federal charges as well.

He has already been cut from his show, too.

E! News reported:

Jussie Smollett Cut From Final 2 Empire Episodes of the Season

“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” the statement from the executive producers, released Friday, reads. “Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out.”

The statement continues, “We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”

He’ll be lucky to stay out of jail.

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