Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack

CHICAGO (AP) – Jussie Smollett will face trial on Monday for lying to the Chicago police when the former ‘Empire’ actor and R&B singer said he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack nearly three years ago. years. Some key moments in history:

January 22, 2019

– Smollett receives a letter of racist and homophobic threat to the Chicago studio where “Empire” is filmed. Police later say they believe Smollett sent the letter himself.

January 29, 2019

–Jussie Smollett told police he was assaulted by two men in downtown Chicago at 2 a.m. Police say Smollett, who is black and gay, told detectives that attackers also shouted that he was in “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to the president’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. Donald Trump whom some critics of Trump qualify as racist and discriminatory.

January 30, 2019

– Chicago police say they have examined hundreds of hours of surveillance camera footage, including of Smollett walking downtown, but none show the attack. The police obtain and disseminate images of two people they wish to interview, calling them “persons of interest”.

– Reports of an assault on Smollett spark outrage and support for him on social media from some politicians and celebrities.

January 31, 2019

– Smollett’s family release statement calling the attack a hate crime and challenging claims it changed his story.

February 1, 2019

– Smollett issues a statement saying he is doing well, working with the authorities and that he has been “100% factual and consistent at all levels”.

February 2, 2019

– Smollett opens a concert in West Hollywood, Calif., With a moving speech, saying he had to perform the show because he couldn’t let his attackers win.

February 13, 2019

– Chicago Police pick up two Nigerian brothers from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after police learned at least one worked on “Empire.” The police question them and search their apartment.

Feb. 15, 2019

– Chicago police release the brothers without charge after arresting them on suspicion of assault and detaining them for nearly 48 hours. A police spokesperson said they are no longer suspects.

February 16, 2019

– Police said the investigation “changed” after detectives interviewed the brothers and requested a follow-up interview with Smollett. His lawyers say he feels “victimized” by reports that he played a role in the assault.

February 17, 2019

– Chicago Police have contacted Smollett’s attorney to say they still want to question him again because new information has “changed” his investigation.

February 19, 2019

– Chicago chief prosecutor, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx, is withdrawing from the investigation. His office said the decision was made “out of great caution …

February 20, 2019

– Prosecutors accuse Smollett of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report on the alleged attack.

February 21, 2019

– Chicago Police have said Smollett is surrendering to face a felony charge of disorderly driving, which carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.

– Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett organized the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Investigators say they have a check for $ 3,500 that Smollett used to pay the two brothers to help him.

February 22, 2019

– The producers of “Empire” say the character of Smollett will be removed from the last two episodes of the season.

March 7, 2019

– Cook County grand jury returns 16-count indictment accusing Smollett of falsely reporting an offense.

March 26, 2019

– Lawyers for Smollett have said the charges alleging he lied to police have been dropped.

March 28, 2019

–A city official says Chicago is asking Smollett for $ 130,000 to cover the cost of investigating his reported beating, which police say was staged.

April 11, 2019

– The city of Chicago is taking legal action to recover the costs of the investigation.

April 15, 2019

– The Cook County State Attorney’s Office is releasing thousands of documents in the Smollett case in response to requests for open cases, including a text from Foxx calling Smollett a “washed-out celebrity” that was overcharged.

23 april 2019

– The brothers who said they helped Smollett organize the attack have filed a libel suit against the actor’s lawyers.

23 Aug 2019

– Judge appoints former U.S. prosecutor Dan Webb as special prosecutor to investigate why the charges against Smollett were dropped.

February 11, 2020

– Webb says the grand jury handed down the six-count indictment against Smollett, accusing him of lying to police.

February 24, 2020

– Smollett pleads not guilty to the restored charges.

October 15, 2021

– Judge James Linn denies a last ditch effort to dismiss the criminal case against Smollett and sets his trial for November 29.


Check out the full PA coverage of the Jussie Smollett case.

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