The walls are closing in even further on actor and fake hate crime aficionado Jussie Smollett.
A rand jury has now indicted the “empire actor on 16 felony count related to his alleged faking of a hate crime against him in January, NBC News reported.
It was not immediately clear what the specific charges against Smollett were. He was charged last month with one felony count of disorderly conduct in filing a false police report.
Chicago police said in a press conference announcing the initial charge that Smollett sent a “false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language” to himself and staged a hate crime attack in Chicago because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.”
Authorities had previously said new information “shifted” their investigation of the reported assault, in which Smollett told authorities he was physically attacked as he was returning home from an early morning stop at a Subway restaurant on Jan. 29. He said two masked men shouted racial, anti-gay slurs and “This is MAGA country!” as they looped a rope around his neck and poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him before running away.
“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked,” Smollett’s legal team said in a statement when he was initially charged. “Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
BREAKING: A grand jury has returned a 16-count felony indictment against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. https://t.co/zuaJx1s4Ck
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) March 8, 2019
Jussie Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts related to his hoax attack…
I’m starting to think he’s not gonna get that raise he wanted.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) March 8, 2019
BREAKING: “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted on 16 felony counts by a Chicago grand jury – WLS-TV
— LIVE Breaking News (@NewsBreaking) March 8, 2019
Hey @brianstelter. Looking forward to your coverage of this on Sunday. https://t.co/q2fQGBlsFr
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) March 8, 2019
BREAKING: Jussie Smollett has been indicted on 16 felony charges for falsely reporting a hate crime. The actor claims he was attacked by 2 men in Chicago shouting racist and homophobic slurs. pic.twitter.com/3xWMwY9LaE
— AJ+ (@ajplus) March 8, 2019
BREAKING: ‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett Indicted on 16 Felony Counts.
Police say Smollett sent a “false letter that relied on racial, homophobic & political language” to himself & staged a hate crime attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.”https://t.co/k5KINQblUL
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) March 8, 2019
— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) March 8, 2019
DEVELOPING: Television actor Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury in Chicago – local media citing court records pic.twitter.com/5Z8UjUI5qW
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 8, 2019
“Empire star Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts in relation to staged attack” https://t.co/8riDwnNhJZ
— Lisa Stabile (@LisaStabile36) March 8, 2019
that looks bad for him. Seems he deserves it…but he’ll continue saying “I’m still a victim!” https://t.co/wBOXXTo4c7
— Dave L Underwood (@dave1963x) March 8, 2019
17th COUNT SHOULD BE 4 BEING A VILE, STUPID LOATHSOME MOTHERFUQER!
— Sal G. (@salgold) March 8, 2019
Jussie Smollett indicted by a Grand Jury on 16 counts after allegedly lying to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime. @cbschicago https://t.co/PGYGkkv7HH
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) March 8, 2019
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