On Tuesday, February 11, prosecutor Dan Webb claimed the former Empire actor, 37, made an intentionally false report last year, when he alleged that he had been attacked by two racist, homophobic men in masks on the streets of Chicago on January 29, 2019.
The indictment states that Smollett “knew at the time … there was no reasonable ground for believing that such an offense had been committed,” according to multiple outlets.
As RadarOnline.com readers know, the 16 counts of disorderly conduct previously filed against Smollett in March 2019 were dropped last year. At the time, Smollett pleaded not guilty to lying to police about the incident and denied all allegations that he staged the attack to draw attention to himself.
While the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges, the investigation continued. Now, he is facing six counts of disorderly conduct for falsely reporting a hate crime.
“The Court today ruled that the City’s case will be decided on the facts and not the pleadings. As you know, in the legal system dismissal on the pleadings is a very high bar and, as a result, the Court’s decision is not surprising. The pleadings are just the city’s side of the story Now, Mr. Smollett will get to present his side of the case,” Smollett’s attorney, William J. Quinlan, said in a statement obtained by Radar.
“Mr. Smollett has always maintained his innocence and is eager to have the complete facts of the case come out. He looks forward to taking depositions and otherwise bringing to light many of the facts that have been overlooked in the court of public opinion to date. Mr. Smollett is confident that once the full story is available he will be vindicated,” Quinlan continued.
Smollett’s TV character was written off Empire after the scandal, and series creator Lee Daniels confirmed in June, 2019, that the actor would not be returning for the sixth and final season.
Smollett is due in court on February 24.