Friday 22 March 2019

'Empire' star on false report claim rap

Actor and singer Jussie Smollett. Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Actor and singer Jussie Smollett. Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Don Babwin

A grand jury in the US has indicted Empire actor Jussie Smollett on 16 charges related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs.

Smollett was charged on February 20 with one count of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

The actor told police in late January that he was physically attacked by two men in downtown Chicago while out getting food at 2am.

Smollett said the men shouted at him, wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an "unknown substance" on him.

Police said Smollett, who is black and gay, told detectives the attackers also yelled he was in "MAGA country," an apparent reference to Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan that some Trump critics have decried as racist and discriminatory.

After an investigation, Chicago police said Smollett recruited two men to stage the attack because he was upset with his pay on the Fox show.

Smollett has denied playing a role in the attack.


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