Juicy Smolliét aka Jussie Smollett was initially cleared of any wrongdoing after charges of staging an attack were thrown out of court after his February 2019 arrest. On Monday (Nov. 29), jury selection has begun in the former Empire actor’s disorderly conduct case where he faces six felony counts.
ABC 7 Chicago reports that Smollett’s trial takes place almost three years to the day he told the authorities that he was the victim of a violent attack near his Chicago home and hit with racist and homophobic verbal attacks. Prosecutors believe that the 39-year-old actor staged the attack based on accounts that two men were paid thousands to help Smollett arrange the attack.
Cook County Prosecutor Kim Foxx’s office threw out the charges, sparking debate and a flurry of demands that Foxx should be removed from her post. After Smollett was cleared, he remained committed to his version of the story.
According to Smollett, the alleged attackers used slurs, put a noose around his neck, and yelled “This is MAGA country” before leaving him in the street. The men who allegedly helped Smollett were brothers who notched a payment of $3,500 from the actor.
Smollett faces six counts of disorderly conduct which could land him three years in prison although if convicted, it is likely Smollett will be placed on probation. Since the news of the attack went wide, Smollett has kept a largely low profile but was spotted out and about earlier this month.
According to reports, the trial should last no longer the five days.
Jussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty.