Jussie Smollett's Legal Team Responds to New Indictment for Alleged Attack
Jussie Smollett is speaking out.
After being indicted by special prosecutor Dan Webb on Tuesday, in connection with the alleged staged attack that happened in 2019, the former Empire actor's attorney, Tina Glandian, released a statement to ET. Smollett is due in court on Feb. 24.
"This indictment raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation that led to the renewed charges against Mr. Smollett, not the least of which is the use of the same CPD detectives who were part of the original investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett to conduct the current investigation, despite Mr. Smollett's pending civil claims against the City of Chicago and CPD officers for malicious prosecution," the statement reads. "One of the two witnesses who testified before the grand jury is the very same detective Mr. Smollett is currently suing for his role in the initial prosecution of him."
"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," the statement continues. "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."
Webb shared in a statement to ET that, based on the recommendation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, a Cook County grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his claims that he was the victim of a hate crime.
Additionally, Kathy Fieweger, director of public affairs for the City of Chicago Department of Law, told ET in a statement, "We look forward to reviewing the indictment and, as we have said previously, the City stands by our original complaint seeking to recover costs for Mr. Smollett’s false statements. We again thank the Chicago Police Department detectives for their hard work on this case the original investigation."
On Jan. 29, 2019, news broke that Smollett had been the victim of an alleged racist and homophobic attack on the streets of Chicago outside his apartment. ET confirmed soon after the incident that Smollett had told police that he was approached by two men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, and at one point wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance -- believed to be bleach -- on him.
For more on the case, watch the video above.
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