Jussie Smollett Indicted On 16 Felony Counts

FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. Terrence Howard, the actor who plays Jussie Smollett’s father on ‘Empire,’ has expressed support for his fellow cast member on social media. Smollett, who is black and gay, is charged with filing a false police report in January 2019 when he said he was attacked in Chicago by two masked men who used derogatory language and put a rope around his neck. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

A Cook County grand jury has indicted Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report on Saturday.  Jussie, who is out on bail, says he’s innocent.  A statement was released to People, via Jussie’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said, “The fact of an indictment is not unexpected. We knew that there is no way they would expose their evidence to a public airing and subject their witnesses to cross-examination.”

“What is unexpected however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie,” the statement continued. “This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie’s privacy in tampering with his medical records. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption.”

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