The 39-year-old actor and singer is charged with lying to Chicago police in 2019 when he claimed he was the victim of a racist and anti-gay attack near his Streeterville apartment.
That was the story that was spread around the world after Jussie Smollett, a Black and openly gay actor, reported to Chicago police that he was the victim of a hate crime.
Smollett told police he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at 2 a.m. when two men he said recognized him from the TV show Empire began hurling racial and homophobic slurs at him.
He said the men struck him, looped a makeshift noose around his neck and shouted, “This is MAGA country,” a reference to then-President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Jury selection is expected to begin Monday (Nov 29) in the trial of former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett — nearly three years after he claimed he was the victim of a hate crime only to later be accused of staging the attack.
He was charged with felony disorderly conduct after law enforcement and prosecutors said he lied to police about what happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2019, in downtown Chicago.
Smolett has pleaded not guilty. The jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday. Disorderly conduct, a class 4 felony, carries a sentence of up to three years in prison but experts have said it is more likely that if Smollett is convicted he would be placed on probation and perhaps ordered to perform community service since he has no prior criminal record.