Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot says actor Jussie Smollett should be held responsible for allegedly staging a hate crime, for which he is facing new charges this week.
According to CBS2 Chicago, Lightfoot says Smollett also wasted the police’s time and resources on the hoax.
“He needs to face the charges. He committed a crime, and he needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and we are going to continue to aggressively make him accountable for the wasted police resources that went into investigating what turned out to be a total hoax,” Lightfoot said.
On Monday, Smollett appeared in court, where his lawyer pleaded not guilty on his behalf to six counts of felony disorderly conduct. The lawyer also requested that the Illinois Supreme Court stop the case.
CBS2 Chicago says in the new charges, Smollett is accused of filing false police reports. Chicago police say Smollett orchestrated the attack because he was not happy with the salary he was receiving on the TV show “Empire.”
This morning actor Jussie Smollett is set to walk back into the same criminal court that he walked out last year when his charges were shockingly dropped by Kim Foxx’s office. Today, six new felony charges of lying to PD.
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) February 24, 2020
Last year, Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of the charge in the same court. Weeks later, the office of Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx dismissed the case.
According to Smollett’s attorneys, he was “wiped clean” of the charges, while the actor said he had “been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”
“I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was being accused of,” he added, according to the Associated Press.
When the case was dismissed, then-mayor Rahm Emanuel said about Smollett: “Is there no decency in this man?”
Flanked by a massive entourage, Jussie Smollett entered a Chicago courthouse Monday to face six new counts of making false reports to police for allegedly fabricating a hate crime. https://t.co/UejfM3lZcC
— CNN (@CNN) February 24, 2020
On Jan. 29, 2019, Smollett informed police that he was attacked outside his apartment building in Chicago by two men who he said wore ski masks. Smollett said the men called him racial and homophobic slurs.
He maintains the two also said, “This is MAGA country,” which refers to President Donald Trump’s slogan. In the alleged attack, the men “poured an unknown liquid” onto him and tied a noose around his neck.
Smollett’s defense attorney at the time of the alleged attack, Patricia Brown Holmes, said the former “Empire” actor was “attacked by two people he was unable to identify.” She said he “was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator.”
But police say Smollett orchestrated the attack on him. Smollett is black and gay. Emanuel said that Smollett’s case could end up harming other gay people who report actual hate crimes, and that this alleged fraud could cast doubt on real crimes.