Jussie Smollett alleged assault

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

On January 29, 2019, American actor Jussie Smollett told police that he was attacked in the early morning at the 300 block of East Lower North Water Street in Chicago's Streeterville by two men who physically attacked him after racial and homophobic slurs, poured an unknown chemical substance, possibly bleach, on him and tied a rope around his neck.[1] On February 20, 2019, Smollett was indicted for disorderly conduct consisting of allegedly paying two Nigerian-American brothers to stage a fake hate crime assault on him and filing a false police report.[2] Smollett's defense team reached a deal with prosecutors on March 26, 2019, in which all charges were dropped in return for Smollett performing community service and forfeiting his $10,000 bond.[3] On March 27, 2019, it was announced that the FBI would be investigating as to why the charges were dismissed.[4]

Background[edit]

On January 22, 2019, a letter arrived at the Chicago studio of Smollett's employer that was addressed to Smollett and depicted a stick figure hanging from a tree with a gun pointing towards it. It read "Smollett, Jussie you will die" and "MAGA" and contained a white powder determined to be Tylenol.[5] On January 29, 2019, Smollett said that he was attacked in the early morning of that day in the 300 block of East Lower North Water Street in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood,[6] in what was initially investigated as a hate crime.[1][7] The Chicago Police later determined Smollett orchestrated the attack.[8]

Smollett told police that he was attacked outside his apartment building by two men in ski masks who called him racial and homophobic slurs, and said "This is MAGA country", referencing President Donald Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again"[1] and used their hands, feet, and teeth as weapons in the assault.[9][10] According to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department, the two suspects then "poured an unknown liquid" on Smollett and put a noose around his neck.[11] Smollett said that he fought them off. Smollett was treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital; not seriously injured, he was released "in good condition" later that morning.[1][12][13] The police were called after 2:30 am;[14] when they arrived around 2:40 am, Smollett had a white rope around his neck.[15] Smollett said that the attack may have been motivated by his criticism of the Trump administration[16] and that he believed that the alleged assault was linked to the threatening letter that was sent to him earlier that month.[5]

Public reaction to incident[edit]

On January 30, 2019, public figures expressed support for Smollett on social media.[7][17] Entertainment industry figures, including Shonda Rhimes and Viola Davis, tweeted their outrage over the attack and support for Smollett.[17] Democratic senators and presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker both described the attack as an attempted modern-day lynching.[18] Booker urged Congress to pass a federal anti-lynching bill co-sponsored by him and Harris.[17][19] In an interview with April Ryan of AURN, President Trump was asked about Smollett being attacked and said, "I think that's horrible. It doesn't get worse."[20] Smollett faced skepticism regarding his claim of being attacked;[21] he responded by saying that he believed that, if he had said his attackers were Mexicans, Muslims, or black people, "the doubters would have supported me much more ... And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now."[21]

Investigation[edit]

On February 13, Chicago police raided the home of two "persons of interest" in the case. The men are brothers, of Nigerian descent, who have acted as extras on Empire. Police recovered bleach and other items from the home.[22] The brothers were held in police custody on suspicion of battery but were not charged.[23] According to the brothers' attorney, they know Smollett from working on the show, and have also spent time with him at a gym.[23] The two men were released February 15 without being charged with a crime,[24][25] with Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stating their release was "due to new evidence" from the interrogations.[24]

The Chicago Police Department later told ABC News: "Police are investigating whether the two individuals committed the attack—or whether the attack happened at all."[26] On February 16, two unnamed Chicago police sources informed CNN that Chicago police had discovered evidence indicating that Smollett had paid the two brothers $3,500 to stage the attack.[27][28] Financial records indicate that the brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett's neck at a hardware store in Ravenswood over the weekend of January 25.[29][30] They were seen in security camera footage in a clothing store where they bought the gloves, ski masks and a red hat that police said was used in the attack. The brothers asked specifically for a MAGA hat, which the store doesn't sell.[31] Chicago Police reached out to Smollett's attorney for additional questioning.[23]

The FBI began investigating whether Smollett was involved in the threatening letter that was sent to him the week before the incident.[5]

On February 19, 2019, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced that she had recused herself from the investigation, due to her "familiarity with potential witnesses in the case", a move that prompted criticism from her predecessor, Anita Alvarez.[32][33] Recusing herself would have required her to ask the court to appoint an outside attorney as a special prosecutor. Since she merely passed the case to someone on her staff, she was still responsible for its outcome.[34][35]

Police alleged that Smollett staged the attack because he was dissatisfied with his pay on Empire.[36]

Smollett hired crisis manager Chris Bastardi to represent him.[37]

Criminal charges and arrest[edit]

On February 20, 2019, Smollett was charged by a grand jury with a class 4 felony for filing a false police report.[38][39][40] Smollett's felony count charge in Illinois carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.[38] Smollett has hired attorney Mark Geragos in addition to Chicago-based attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson to work on his legal defense.[41]

The next day, Smollett surrendered himself at the Chicago Police Department's Central Booking station; shortly thereafter, CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stated that Smollett "is under arrest and in the custody of detectives".[42][43] Guglielmi also said that Smollett was named as suspect in a criminal investigation for filing a fake police report, under a class 4 felony.[44][45]

Later that day, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson held a press conference, gave details of the investigation, and explained how the department concluded that the alleged assault was staged.[46] Chicago PD believe that Smollett staged the attack as a publicity stunt meant to further his career, as he was not satisfied with his salary.[46][47] The brothers who say they helped stage the attack said that Smollett had the idea to fake the crime after the threatening letter he received did not receive as much attention as he wanted it to.[48] Police alleged that the actor intended to further his career by tying the incident to racism in the United States and President Trump, and that Smollett sent himself the threatening letter.[46]

Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. set Smollett's bail at $100,000; a friend of the actor paid a $10,000 bond, and Smollett was released from custody on February 21.[49][50][51] Smollett was required to surrender his passport.[52]

Grand jury indictment

On March 8, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts of "false report of offense" related to the incident.[53][54][55][56] On March 14, 2019, Smollett and his legal team entered a not guilty plea at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.[57][58][59]

On March 26, 2019, all charges filed against Smollett were dropped, with Judge Steven Watkins ordering the public court file sealed.[3][60] First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats said the office reached a deal with Smollett's defense team in which prosecutors dropped the charges upon Smollett performing 16 hours of community service[61][62][63] and forfeiting his $10,000 bond.[64][65][66] As of March 2019, the FBI was continuing to investigate the circumstances around the case.[67]

Reaction[edit]

Smollett's character was subsequently removed from the final two episodes of Empire's fifth season. Those episodes had not yet been aired.[68] The studio stated on April 30, 2019 that “at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire.”[69] Fox announced that Empire will be canceled at the end of Season 6.[69] Smollett claimed he had an untreated drug problem—his use of ecstasy. He also said he does not have issues with alcohol or his mental health.[70][71]

Following Smollett's arraignment, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson held a press conference in which he spoke about Smollett, asking, "Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile? How can an individual who's been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face with these false claims? Bogus police reports cause real harm." He further called the accusations "a scar" that "Chicago...didn't earn and certainly didn't deserve."[72]

During a public statement, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, "Allegations against Mr. Smollett are shameful and if proven, they are an affront to the people of Chicago who embraced him as a neighbor and respected him as a role model... We stand behind the work of our detectives."[73]

It was reported that a former Obama era aide, a Chicago attorney, Tina Tchen, who served as former first lady Michelle Obama's chief of staff, and others were contacted to try to convince them to "Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation" in lieu of the Chicago Police Department, which was agreed upon. A Smollett family member responded, "Omg this would be a huge victory."[74] In text messages, Foxx told an unknown person who contacted her through Tchen, that she "spoke to the superintendent" and was "trying to figure out logistics".[73]

Commentators have compared the alleged incident to the Tawana Brawley rape allegations and other racial hoaxes.[75][76][77][78][79][80][81]

Controversy over charges being dropped[edit]

Police report files on Smollet's case

The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association (IPBA) said that the dismissal was "highly unusual", and that the "manner in which this case was dismissed was abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the state. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges alike do not recognize the arrangement Mr. Smollett received. Even more problematic, the State's Attorney and her representatives have fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal."[82] It described several of the statements made by the State's Attorney and her representatives regarding the handling of the case as false or misleading.[83] The National District Attorneys Association released a statement saying that a prosecutor should not take advice from politically connected friends of the accused, should not recuse herself without recusing the entire office, and noted that "a case with the consequential effects of Mr. Smollett's should not be resolved without a finding of guilt or innocence."[84]

Magats made a statement saying that the decision was not an exoneration of Smollett, "we stand behind the investigation, we stand behind the decision to charge him [...] The fact that [Smollett] feels that we have exonerated him, we have not. I can't make it any clearer than that". The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, strongly criticized the decision saying it was a "whitewash of justice" and that "From top to bottom, this is not on the level." Police superintendent Johnson said that justice was not served.[3][85]

On March 27, 2019, the Chicago Police Department released the redacted police reports associated to the case.[86] It was announced that the FBI is investigating why the charges were dismissed.[4] The hearing to expunge Smollett's record was delayed on March 27.[87] In April 2019, mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot said in a statement: "We've got a lot of things on our plate, a lot of pressing issues that are truly affecting people's lives. This doesn't rank as a matter of any importance to me."[88]

Lawsuits[edit]

On March 28, 2019, Chicago city attorneys under the guidance of then-Mayor Emanuel and Police Superintendent Johnson, sent Smollett a demand letter, requiring him to repay the city the sum of $130,106.15 "expended on overtime hours in the investigation of this matter". The letter warned that if this amount is not paid, then the Chicago Department of Law could prosecute Smollett for the alleged false statements to the City or "pursue any other legal remedy available at law". Under a cited statute, Smollett could face a fine of up to three times the damages the City sustained as a result of false statements. The city could also seek recovery of court costs, collection costs, and attorney fees.[89] A court would have to determine whether Smollett is liable under the statute using the standard of preponderance of evidence.[90] Smollett could be sued for $390,000 as the law allows for triple damages in the case of false reports.[91][92]

On April 12, 2019, the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County against Smollett for the cost of overtime authorities expended investigating the alleged attack, specified in the complaint as $130,105.15.[93][94] The suit further asked that Smollett be found liable for $1,000 "for each false statement he made to the city, in addition to three times the amount of the damages that the city sustained."[93] According to a local news legal analyst, the discovery process would be of interest to the public as city attorneys would be seeking evidence for the civil trial, stating "They'll get tape recordings. They'll get video surveillance, they'll get phone records and they'll take depositions."[93]

On April 23, 2019, the two Nigerian brothers involved in the incident filed a federal defamation lawsuit against Smollett's legal team.[95][96]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Gonzalez, Sandra (January 29, 2019). "Empire star Jussie Smollett attacked in possible hate crime". CNN. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  2. ^ Nemetz, Dave (February 20, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Indicted, Charged With Felony for Filing False Police Report". TVLine. United States: TVLine Media, LLC (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Crepeau, Megan; Buckley, Madeline (March 26, 2019). "Cook County prosecutors drop all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett". Chicago Tribune. United States: Tribune Publishing. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "The FBI Is Looking Into Why Charges Against Jussie Smollett Were Dropped". BuzzFeed News.
  5. ^ a b c "Jussie Smollett case: FBI investigates whether actor had any role in threatening letter". USA Today. McLean, Virginia: Gannett Company. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Deb, Sopan (February 17, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Timeline: Mystery Deepens as Police Review Case". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Empire actor Jussie Smollett allegedly assaulted in possible hate crime, police say". CBS News. New York City: CBS. Associated Press. January 29, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Young, Ryan; Parks, Brad; Andone, Dakin (February 16, 2019). "Police sources: New evidence suggests Jussie Smollett orchestrated attack". CNN. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  9. ^ "Chicago Police Department Original Case Incident Report" (PDF). WLS-TV. Chicago: Disney–ABC Television Group. January 29, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  10. ^ Allen, Karma (February 4, 2019). "Newly revealed report offers chilling details of alleged Jussie Smollett attack". ABC News. New York City: ABC. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  11. ^ Michallon, Clémence (January 29, 2019). "Empire star Jussie Smollet assaulted in Chicago in suspected hate crime". The Independent. London: Independent Print Limited. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  12. ^ Otterson, Joe (January 29, 2019). "Empire Star Jussie Smollett Assaulted in Chicago in Suspected Hate Crime". Variety. Los Angeles: Variety Media, LLC. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  13. ^ Penrose, Nerisha (January 29, 2019). "Empire Actor Jussie Smollett Hospitalized Following Racist, Homophobic Attack". Elle. United States: Hachette Filipacchi Media and Hearst Communications. Retrieved February 3, 2019. he was treated and discharged early Tuesday morning
  14. ^ Sobol, Rosemary; Swartz, Tracy; Lee, William (February 1, 2019). "Detectives piecing together 'digital puzzle' as they investigate report of attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett". Chicago Tribune. Chicago: Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2019. (URL not available in the European Economic Area or Switzerland.)
  15. ^ Andrews, Travis M.; Butler, Bethonie; Chiu, Allyson (January 30, 2019). "Surveillance video shows two 'people of interest' in alleged assault against Empire actor Jussie Smollett, police say". The Washington Post. Washington, D. C.: Nash Holdings. Retrieved February 3, 2019. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the initial police report did not reference those comments, but the actor recalled the information in a follow-up interview with detectives. Guglielmi said Smollett still had a thin, white rope around his neck when officers first made contact with him around 2:40 am, roughly 40 minutes after the alleged assault.
  16. ^ Real, Evan; Lewis, Hilary (February 21, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Hits Back at Doubters as He Details Brutal Attack". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Billboard-Hollywood Media Group (Valence Media). Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  17. ^ a b c Kumar, Naveen (January 30, 2019). "The Attack on Jussie Smollett Shows the Paradox of Queer Visibility". them. New York City: Condé Nast. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Anapol, Avery (January 29, 2019). "Kamala Harris: Violent attack on Empire star is 'attempted modern day lynching'". The Hill. Washington, D. C.: Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  19. ^ Vutlaggio, Maria (January 29, 2019). "Cory Booker says Jussie Smollett attack is 'attempted modern-day lynching'". Newsweek. New York City: Newsweek, Inc. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  20. ^ Ryan, April (January 31, 2019). "President Trump Comments on Jussie Smollett Hate Crime". American Urban Radio Networks. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Latza Nadeau, Barbie (February 14, 2019). "'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett: You'd Believe Me if I Was Attacked by Black or Muslim Guys". The Daily Beast. United States: IAC. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  22. ^ Preston, Hannah (February 14, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Case: Police Raid Home of Two 'Persons of Interest'". Newsweek. New York City: Newsweek, Inc. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  23. ^ a b c Swart, Tracy; Gorner, Jeremy; Sweeney, Annie (February 16, 2019). "Chicago police want to question Empire actor Jussie Smollett after questioning and releasing 2 brothers". Chicago Tribune. Chicago: Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019(URL not available in the European Economic Area or Switzerland.)
  24. ^ a b Ailworth, Erin (February 15, 2019). "Chicago Police Release Possible Suspects in Jussie Smollett Attack". Wall Street Journal. New York City: Dow Jones and Company.
  25. ^ Keveney, Bill; Madhani, Aamer (February 15, 2019). "Jussie Smollett case: Two men released after police interrogation reveals 'new evidence'". USA Today. McLean, Virginia: Gannett Company. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  26. ^ "Sources: Police investigating whether Jussie Smollett staged attack with help of others, allegedly being written off Empire". ABC News. New York City: ABC. February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  27. ^ "Brothers Questioned By Police Were Paid $3,500 To Stage Jussie Smollett Attack, Sources Say". WBBM-TV. Chicago: CBS Corporation. February 16, 2019.
  28. ^ De Mar, Charlie (February 16, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Case: Brothers Questioned By Police Were Paid $3,500 To Stage Attack, Which Was Rehearsed Days Before, Sources Say". WBBM-TV. Chicago: CBS Corporation. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  29. ^ Young, Ryan; Parks, Brad. "Police sources: New evidence suggests Jussie Smollett orchestrated attack". CNN. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  30. ^ Blankstein, Andrew; Helsel, Phil (February 17, 2019). "Probe into alleged Jussie Smollett attack shifts to whether actor staged incident, source says". NBC News. New York City: NBC. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  31. ^ "Did Jussie Smollett Stage Attack to Get a Raise on 'Empire'?". February 21, 2019 – via YouTube.
  32. ^ Charles, Sam (February 20, 2019). "Kim Foxx sidesteps Smollett case over 'familiarity with potential witnesses'". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago: Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  33. ^ "Jussie Smollett attack: Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself from investigation". WLS-TV. Chicago: Disney–ABC Television Group. February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  34. ^ Blitzer, Ronn (27 March 2019). "Prosecutor Who Dropped Smollett Case Had Said She Was Recusing Herself Over Potential Conflict. Then She Didn't". Law & Crime. LawNewz.
  35. ^ Meisner, Megan Crepeau, Jason. "Kim Foxx defends Jussie Smollett decision as office says she 'did not formally recuse herself'". chicagotribune.com.
  36. ^ Ailworth, Erin (2019-02-22). "Police Say Smollett Faked Hate Crime Because He Was Dissatisfied With His Salary". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  37. ^ Dedaj, Paulina; Finn, Matt (February 13, 2019). "Jussie Smollett defended by crisis manager as Chicago police say phone records 'insufficient'". Fox News. New York City: Fox Corporation. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  38. ^ a b Deb, Sopan (February 20, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Faces Felony Charge, Accused of Faking Own Assault". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  39. ^ Sanchez, Ray; Young, Ryan; Kirkos, Bill; Parks, Brad (February 20, 2019). "Actor Jussie Smollett charged with felony for allegedly filing a false police report". CNN. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  40. ^ Estrella, Cicero (February 20, 2019). "Jussie Smollett goes from victim to suspect over alleged hate-crime attack". The Mercury News. San Jose, California: Digital First Media. Retrieved February 20, 2019. [Smollett] is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury.
  41. ^ Edwards, Brad (February 20, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Hires High Profile Defense Attorney, Mark Geragos". WBBM-TV. Chicago: CBS Corporation. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  42. ^ Charles, Sam; Alice, Yin (February 21, 2019). "Smollett dragged 'Chicago's reputation through the mud': CPD Supt.Johnson". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago: Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  43. ^ Cowen, Trace William (February 21, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Arrested by Chicago Police for 'Publicity Stunt' to Further His Career". Complex. New York City: Complex Media Group (Verizon Hearst Media Partners). Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  44. ^ Ozimek, Tom (2019-02-21). "'Empire' Actor Jussie Smollett Arrested on Charges of Filing False Police Report". The Epoch Times. New York City: Epoch Media Group. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  45. ^ Zwirz, Elizabeth; Derespina, Cody (February 21, 2019). "Jussie Smollett is under arrest, in custody of Chicago police!". Fox News. New York City: Fox Corporation. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  46. ^ a b c Winsor, Morgan; Osborne, Mark (February 21, 2019). "Jussie Smollett staged attack as 'publicity stunt...to promote his career': Police". ABC News. New York City: ABC. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  47. ^ Sopan, Deb; Healy, Jack (February 21, 2019). "Jussie Smollett, Upset Over Salary, Staged Assault, Police Say". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  48. ^ Walsh, Stephanie; Margolin, Josh; Hutchinson, Bill (February 18, 2019). "Brothers implicated in attack on Jussie Smollett tell police the 'Empire' actor was upset that earlier threatening letter didn't get enough attention: Source". ABC News. New York City: ABC. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  49. ^ "Watch Jussie Smollett leave the courthouse: Actor Jussie Smollett is escorted through a thick crowd as he leaves the courthouse following his bond hearing". CNN. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System. February 21, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  50. ^ Crepeau, Megan; Gorner, Jeremy; Meisner, Jason (February 22, 2019). "How a text from Jussie Smollett set in motion an alleged hoax that dragged 'Chicago's reputation through the mud'". Chicago Tribune. Chicago: Tribune Publishing. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  51. ^ McLaughlin, Eliott C.; Watts, Amanda; Parks, Brad (February 21, 2019). "Jussie Smollett paid $3,500 to stage his attack, hoping to promote his career, police allege". CNN. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  52. ^ Jensen, Erin; Madhani, Aamer; Deerwester, Jayme (February 21, 2019). "Jussie Smollett directed brothers to pour gas on him and yell slurs, prosecutor says". USA Today. McLean, Virginia: Gannett Corporation. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  53. ^ Jussie Smollett grand jury indictment CBS News, March 8, 2019
  54. ^ Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury ABC News, March 8, 2019
  55. ^ Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 counts over allegedly phony claims of racist, homophobic attack Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune, March 9, 2019
  56. ^ Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 counts of falsifying a police report Gabe Schneider, Vox Media, March 9, 2019
  57. ^ Crepeau, Megan (March 14, 2019). "Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to faking racist, homophobic attack on himself". Chicago Tribune. Chicago: Tribune Publishing. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  58. ^ Dwyer, Colin (March 14, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty To Charges He Faked Attack Against Himself". NPR. Washington, D. C.: National Public Radio, Inc. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  59. ^ Puente, Maria; Madhani, Aamer (March 14, 2019). "Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to lying to police about alleged attack". USA Today. McLean, Virginia: Gannet Company. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  60. ^ De Mar, Charlie (March 26, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Charges Dropped; 'His Record Has Been Wiped Clean'". WBBM-TV. Chicago: CBS Corporation. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  61. ^ Deanna Paul (27 March 2019). "Why prosecutors dismissed the charges against Jussie Smollett". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 March 2019. The prosecution required the actor to complete 16 hours of community service through the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, a Chicago-based social justice organization
  62. ^ "Jussie Smollett's Community Service Was with Jesse Jackson's Org". Tmz.com. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  63. ^ "Charges Dropped Against Jussie Smollett After Actor Forfeits $10,000 Bail, Completes 16 Hours Of Community Service". Chicago.cbslocal.com. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  64. ^ Bosman, Julie; Deb, Sopan (March 26, 2019). "Jussie Smollett's Charges Are Dropped, Angering Mayor and Police". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  65. ^ McCarthy, Tyler (March 26, 2019). "Jussie Smollett won't be prosecuted on charges he faked attack". Fox News. New York City: Fox Corporation. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  66. ^ Madhani, Aamer (March 26, 2019). "Charges dropped against 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett". USA Today. McLean, Virginia: Gannett Company. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  67. ^ "The FBI Is Looking Into Why Charges Against Jussie Smollett Were Dropped". BuzzFeed. March 28, 2019.
  68. ^ Savitsky, Sasha (February 22, 2019). "Jussie Smollett's 'Empire' role cut from season's final episodes, creators say". Fox News. New York City: Fox Corporation. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  69. ^ a b ‘Empire’ To End After Upcoming Season 6; Still “No Plans” For Jussie Smollett Return Deadline, Dominic Patten, May 13, 2019
  70. ^ Eustachewich, Lia (February 22, 2019). "Jussie Smollett claims he has an untreated drug problem". Page Six. New York City: New York Post. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  71. ^ Barrett, James (February 22, 2019). "Report: Smollett Told Police He Has Untreated Drug Problem". The Daily Wire. Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles: Forward Publishing LLC. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  72. ^ "Jussie Smollett's legal team criticizes "law enforcement spectacle"". Abcnewsradioonline.com. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  73. ^ a b NBC Chicago, Jussie Smollett Update: Texts, Emails Reveal Foxx Asked Johnson to Turn Investigation Over to FBI, March 13, 2019
  74. ^ New York Post, Former Michelle Obama aide tried to intervene in Jussie Smollett probe, March 14, 2019
  75. ^ Russell-Brown, Katheryn (February 25, 2019). "As Racial Hoaxes Go, Jussie Smollett's Case Is a Strange One". The Atlantic.
  76. ^ Williams, Walter E. (February 26, 2019). "Opinion: Hate crime hoaxes fueled by dishonesty of liberals, media". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Dunwoody, Georgia: Cox Enterprises. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  77. ^ Littleton, Cynthia; Littleton, Cynthia (February 27, 2019). "Why the Jussie Smollett Scandal Is 'Tragedy No Matter What'".
  78. ^ "Hate crime hoaxes, like Jussie Smollett's alleged attack, are more common than you think". USA TODAY.
  79. ^ Urquhart, Evan (February 21, 2019). "Why Jussie Smollett's Alleged Hoax Won't Change How Anyone Feels About Hate Crimes". Slate Magazine.
  80. ^ Goodwin, Michael (February 24, 2019). "Michael Goodwin: What Trump hate crime 'victims' hope to get out of their lies". New York Post.
  81. ^ "'The worst possible thing at the worst possible time': The Smollett case's far-reaching consequences". NBC News.
  82. ^ Lee Roupas, President, Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association (March 28, 2019). "IPBA Statement on Jussie Smollett Case Dismissal". ilpba.org. Retrieved July 19, 2019.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  83. ^ "Ill. Prosecutors Group Calls Smollett Case 'Highly Unusal'". NBC Chicago.
  84. ^ Crepeau, Megan. "Two prosecutors' groups rip handling of Jussie Smollett's case by state's attorney's office". chicagotribune.com.
  85. ^ Li, David K. (March 26, 2019). "Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, police chief slam prosecutors for dropping Jussie Smollett charges". NBC News. New York City: NBC. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  86. ^ WBBM-TV Staff (March 27, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Case: Police Reports Reveal New Information". WBBM-TV. Chicago: CBS Corporation. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  87. ^ WLS-TV Staff (March 27, 2019). "Jussie Smollett update: FBI reviewing circumstances of Jussie Smollett's charges being dropped, sources confirm". WLS-TV. Chicago: Walt Disney Television. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  88. ^ Chicago Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot Confirms Jussie Smollett's Case 'Doesn't Rank as a Matter of Any Importance' The Root, Tonja Renée Stidhum, 4/15/19
  89. ^ "City leaders: Smollett owes Chicago $130K for investigation". AP NEWS. March 29, 2019.
  90. ^ "Jussie Smollett to face civil lawsuit over alleged hoax that cost Chicago more than $130,000". www.cbsnews.com.
  91. ^ Writer, MICHAEL TARM, AP Legal Affairs (April 4, 2019). "Chicago to sue Jussie Smollett for costs of investigation". KLEW.
  92. ^ Bradley, Laura (April 4, 2019). "Jussie Smollett Officially Sued by the City of Chicago". Vanity Fair.
  93. ^ a b c "Jussie Smollett update: City sues 'Empire' actor for cost of investigating alleged staged attack". ABC Eyewitness 7 News. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  94. ^ Maddaus, Gene; Maddaus, Gene (2019-04-04). "Chicago to Sue Jussie Smollett After He Refuses to Pay Investigation Costs". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  95. ^ "Jussie Smollett case: Brothers accused of carrying out attack sue actor's legal team for defamation". USA TODAY.
  96. ^ ROUSSEAU, MICHAEL TARM and CARYN. "Brothers sue Jussie Smollett's lawyers, claiming defamation". chicagotribune.com.