Jussie Smollett, the former “Empire” star, will appear in court in Chicago on Monday on accusations of lying to police about allegedly staging a hate crime nearly three years ago. He claimed he was attacked in a racist and anti-gay attack near his Chicago apartment in 2019. The actor told police that he was accosted while walking home and that two men began yelling racist and homophobic slurs, and that they shouted, “This is MAGA country,” before pouring a bleach-like liquid on him and hanging a noose around his neck, according to Smollett.However, brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola.
They are scheduled to testify at his trial as key witnesses. The actor has maintained his innocence, claiming that he paid for personal training rather than staging an attack. Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct after reporting the allegedly manufactured altercation, but the charge was later withdrawn. Last year, he was charged with six counts of disorderly behavior, all of which were low-level felonies. Smollett’s current charges carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, if Smollett is convicted, he will likely receive a reduced term or even probation. Prosecutors alleged that Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with the “Empire” studio, in part because of his compensation.
The controversy over his case led to Smollett being written out of “Empire.” A special prosecutor assigned to examine how Smollett’s case was handled concluded last year that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her office abused their discretion in the case but did nothing criminal.