Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported the Chicago attack

CHICAGO – Jussie Smollett will appear in court Monday on charges of lying to Chicago police when the former “Empire” actress and R&B singer reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack last year. almost three years. Some key moments in the story:

January 22, 2019

Smollett received a letter threatening to be racist and homophobic at the studio in Chicago, where “Empire” was filmed. Police later said they believed Smollett sent the letter himself.

January 29, 2019

Jussie Smollett told police he was attacked by two men in downtown Chicago at 2 a.m. Police said Smollett, who is black and gay, told detectives that the attackers also shouted that he was in “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to the “Make it” campaign slogan America is great again” by US President Donald Trump, which some Trump critics have called racist and discriminatory.

January 30, 2019

Chicago police said they reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance camera footage, including pedestrians in downtown Smollett, but none showed the attack. Police collected and released pictures of the two people they wanted to question, calling them “persons of interest.”

Reports of the Smollett attack drew outrage and support for him on social media from a number of politicians and celebrities.

January 31, 2019

Smollett’s family released a statement calling the attack a hate crime and countering that he had changed his story.

February 1, 2019

Smollett released a statement saying he is fine, that he is working with the authorities and is “100% true and consistent on every level.”

February 2, 2019

Smollett opened a concert in West Hollywood, California, with an emotional speech, saying he had to play the show because he couldn’t let his attackers win.

February 13, 2019

Chicago police picked up two Nigerian brothers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after police learned at least one had worked on “Empire”. The police questioned them and searched their apartment.

February 15, 2019

Chicago police released the two brothers without charge after arresting them on suspicion of assault and detaining them for nearly 48 hours. A police spokesman said they were no longer suspects.

February 16, 2019

Police said the investigation “diverged” after detectives questioned the brothers and requested a follow-up interview with Smollett. His lawyers say he feels “victimized” by reports that he played a role in the assault.

February 17, 2019

Chicago police contacted Smollett’s attorney to say that they still want to interview him again because new information has “diverged” their investigation.

February 19, 2019

Chicago’s top prosecutor, Cook County Attorney Kim Foxx, has withdrawn from the investigation. Her office said the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution … to address potential questions of fairness based on acquaintance with potential witnesses in the case.”

February 20, 2019

Prosecutors charged Smollett with disorderly conduct for submitting a false police report about the alleged assault.

February 21, 2019

Chicago police said Smollett surrendered to face a charge of disorderly conduct, which carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted to go public. Investigators said they had a check for $3,500 that Smollett used to pay two brothers who helped him.

February 22, 2019

The producers of “Empire” said that Smollett’s character would be dropped from the final two episodes of the season.

March 7, 2019

A grand Cook County grand jury returned a 16-count indictment that forced Smollett to make false statements about an offense.

March 26, 2019

Smollett’s attorneys say that charges alleging him lying to police have been dropped.

March 28, 2019

A city official said Chicago is seeking $130,000 from Smollett to cover the cost of an investigation into his reported beating, which police believe was staged.

April 11, 2019

The City of Chicago filed a lawsuit seeking to recoup the costs of the investigation.

April 15, 2019

The Cook County State Attorney’s Office released thousands of documents in the Smollett case in response to open records requests, including one from Foxx calling Smollett a “washed celebrity” who was overcharged.

April 23, 2019

The brothers say they helped Smollett handle the assault filing a defamation lawsuit against the actor’s attorneys.

August 23, 2019

The judge appointed former US Attorney Dan Webb as special counsel to investigate why the charges against Smollett were dropped.

February 11, 2020

Webb said that the jury returned a six-count indictment against Smollett, accusing him of lying to police.

February 24, 2020

Smollett pleaded not guilty to the reinstated charges.

October 15, 2021

Judge James Linn denied a last-ditch attempt to dismiss the criminal case against Smollett and set it to trial on November 29.


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