EMPIRE ACTOR JUSSIE SMOLLETT CHARGED OVER ‘FALSE POLICE REPORT’

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Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been charged by a grand jury on 16 counts relating to the filing of a false police report, which claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault.

The Cook County grand jury indictment charges the 36-year-old, who is openly gay, with falsely reporting an offence.

He was previously charged on 20 February with one count of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

The actor told police in January he was attacked in downtown Chicago by two masked men, apparently Donald Trump supporters, who wrapped rope around his neck and poured an unknown substance on him.

Police say Smollett hired the men – brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo – to stage the incident because he was upset with what he was being paid to appear on Empire.

He has since been axed from the final two episodes of the current season.

Smollett – who handed himself into police after the allegation was made – denies playing a role in the attack, which he claimed had left him “forever changed”.

During a tearful appearance on Good Morning America, he also said he was angry that people had doubted his story and suggested the disbelief might be because of racial bias.

-SKY NEWS

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