June 30, 2022

Key moments since the actor reported the Chicago attack

CHICAGO (AP) – Jussie Smollett is on trial 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. 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 said they looked at hundreds of hours of surveillance camera footage, including Smollett walking downtown, but none showed the attack. The police obtain and disseminate images of two people they wish to interview, calling them “persons of interest”.

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

A jury is set to deliberate on the alleged hate crime hoax of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

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 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 that at least one had worked on “Empire.” The police question them and search their apartment.

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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 contacted Smollett’s attorney to say they still wanted to question him again because new information “changed” his investigation.

February 19, 2019

Chicago chief prosecutor Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx is withdrawing from the investigation. His office says the decision was taken “out of excess of 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 said Smollett was surrendering to face a disorderly driving misdemeanor charge, 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.

In this courtroom skit, Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, left, cross-examines actor Jussie Smollett on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 in Chicago. (AP Photo / Cheryl Cook)

February 22, 2019

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

7 mars 2019

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

26 mars 2019

Lawyers for Smollett said the charges alleging he lied to police were dropped.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S TESTIMONIAL WAS AN “UNMATCHED DISASTER”, THE JURY SEE THROUGH “RUSE” AND WILL CONDEMN HIM: EXPERTS

28 mars 2019

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

11 avril 2019

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

15 avril 2019

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

23 avril 2019

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

23 Aug 2019

The 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.

Smollett faces disorderly conduct charges for filing a false police report on the alleged attack.

Smollett faces disorderly conduct charges for filing a false police report on the alleged attack. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

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.

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November 29, 2021

Smollett’s trial begins with jury selection and lawyers’ opening statements.

December 6, 2021

Smollett testifies in his own defense.

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December 8, 2021

The jury begins its deliberations in Smollett’s trial.