Actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Tuesday for a second time on charges of lying to police about a racist and anti-gay attack he allegedly staged on himself in January 2019.
The indictment came from a special prosecutor who was appointed after Cook County prosecutors dropped the same charges last March.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb said in a statement that Smollett faces six felony counts of disorderly conduct, charges that stem from four separate false reports that he gave to police in which he contended he was a victim of a hate crime “knowing that he was not the victim of a crime.”
The statement immediately raised questions about county prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges and made it clear that those prosecutors had not adequately explained to special prosecutors why they did so. But Webb stressed that he had reached no conclusions about whether anyone involved in the case had engaged in any wrongdoing.
The Osundairo brothers, who were first accused of the hate crime, released a statement following the new indictment:
“The Osundairo brothers are aware of the new charges brought against Jussie Smollett today by the grand jury. As stated before, they are fully committed to the public knowing the truth about what occurred on January 29, 2019. The Osundairo brothers will continue to cooperate with that process and they thank the Special Prosecutor’s office for their tireless work in seeing that justice was administered.“
Smollett, in January 2019 claimed he was attacked by two white men wearing ski mask who put a noose over his head but he was later charged with disorderly conduct in February 2019 for allegedly staging the attack and lying about it to investigators.