US actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Friday by the Chicago court after being accused of simulating a racist and homophobic attack in January to advance his career, according to US media reports.
The singer and comedian, 36, black and openly gay, was already prosecuted for filing a false complaint, after a police investigation that determined he had invented the assault he claimed to have been a victim.
The details of the 16 new charges were not given by the Chicago media or judicial authorities.
Jussie Smollett was one of the stars of the “Empire” series, which he landed for the last two episodes of the current season after the revelation of the case.
He had complained in late January, claiming to have been attacked by two masked individuals in central Chicago, who allegedly dumped him with “racist and homophobic insults” before hitting him.
The police found the two alleged attackers, two brothers from Nigeria, Ola and Abel Osundairo, whom he allegedly paid $ 3,500 to simulate the attack.
“False complaints cause real damage,” said Chicago police chief Eddie Johnson, accusing Smollett of “exploiting the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
The alleged aggression provoked a strong emotion and triggered a torrent of condemnations, the actor receiving the support of many personalities. But the police quickly reported his doubts.