Jussie Smollett: Chicago jury finds actor not guilty of lying about assault

Jury find Smollett not guilty on all but one charge; actor took the stand to deny his false report The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of actor Jussie Smollett, who had…

Jussie Smollett: Chicago jury finds actor not guilty of lying about assault

Jury find Smollett not guilty on all but one charge; actor took the stand to deny his false report

The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of actor Jussie Smollett, who had been accused of staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself in Chicago earlier this year.

Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr declared a mistrial after an eight-day trial, after the jury had sent a note saying that they had reached a verdict, but wanted more time to consider the evidence.

Shortly after the mistrial, Illinois law required the jury to be retried.

Jussie Smollett: the Chicago theatre star accused of lying about racist and homophobic attack Read more

Smollett, who first started acting on the NBC medical drama Chicago P.D. in 2003, played Jamal, the flamboyant half of a hip-hop couple alongside co-star Terrence Howard.

He starred as a different character in the first two seasons of Empire, an American television series set in the world of a hip-hop record label. Smollett played the singing sensation Terrence Howard’s character, the gay brother of Taraji P Henson’s character, Cookie.

Smollett had reported to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago on 2 January. He told police he was followed on two occasions and shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him, while assailants also put a noose around his neck. Smollett said he later noticed white flakes on his back and tied them up in a plastic sandwich bag.

He was charged with disorderly conduct and falsifying a police report, and spent several days in police custody.

On Friday morning, before the mistrial was declared, a Chicago grand jury indicted Smollett on a felony charge of disorderly conduct, a felony.

The indictment claimed that Smollett made the accusations “to promote his career and … defame individuals”, according to court documents filed by prosecutors.

With US news service Reuters

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