20°C / 22°C
  • Mon
  • 15°C
  • 1°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 2°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 1°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 5°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 4°C
  • Mon
  • 15°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 4°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 7°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 2°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 2°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • -2°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 4°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 16°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 12°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 13°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 8°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 16°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 4°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 4°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 0°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 10°C
  • 1°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • -2°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 1°C
  • Sat
  • 20°C
  • 2°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 1°C
  • Tue
  • 27°C
  • 3°C
  • Wed
  • 28°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 5°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 16°C
  • 8°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 9°C

US grand jury indicts Jussie Smollet for alleged hate attack hoax

Police say Smollett - who gained fame on Fox musical drama 'Empire' - staged the attack in a bid to gain publicity and a bigger paycheck.

Empire actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail after posting bond on 21 February 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK - A Chicago grand jury on Friday indicted American actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts after allegedly lying to police about being the victim of a racist, homophobic hate crime.

Police say Smollett - who gained fame on Fox musical drama "Empire" - staged the attack in a bid to gain publicity and a bigger paycheck.

Instead, the 36-year-old actor -- who is black and gay -- has been dropped from the last two episodes of the show's current season, and his future is now in the hands of the court.

Smollett was charged last month with one felony count of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.

He allegedly sent himself a threatening letter and then hired two acquaintances to stage a street attack in downtown Chicago, complete with homophobic and racial slurs, while invoking Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan.

According to court documents published online by local media, the 16-count indictment lists the specific statutes Smollett violated by telling police he had been attacked when he knew "there was no reasonable ground for believing" that such crimes had occurred.

Smollett has denied the allegations against him and in a statement to the media, his attorney Mark Geragos decried what he called "prosecutorial overkill."

"Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption," Geragos said.

The case has drawn intense national interest with everyone from politicians to celebrities and late night talk show hosts commenting.

When asked about the indictment, a Fox spokesman declined to comment.

Smollett was released on bond in February. He is next due back in court on 14 March.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus