The only thing more despicable than committing a hate crime is faking one for attention.
That’s precisely what Chicago Police believe happened in the case of actor Jussie Smollett, formerly of the television program Empire.
According to authorities, Smollett paid two on-set extras to attack him in the streets of Chicago, using racially charged language and symbolism, in order for Smollett to play the victim. The idea was that the actor would raise his public persona via the attack, thus demanding a higher salary when it came to negations with his employers.
Despite their evidence of Smollett’s scam, the actor soon had all charged dropped in a bizarre and shocking twist that infuriated the local authorities.
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Thankfully, it appears that the fight is not yet over.
A judge appointed a special prosecutor Friday to look into why the Chicago state’s attorney’s office abruptly dropped the case against Jussie Smollett, leaving open the possibility that the former “Empire” actor could yet face charges in what police say was a phony attack on himself that he staged to get attention.
Smollett, who is black and gay, maintains that he was the target of a racist and homophobic attack in January. But if the special prosecutor, former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb, determines that the charges shouldn’t have been dropped, he could recommend that they be reinstated or that new charges be brought.
Webb, who was appointed by Cook County Judge Michael Toomin during a Friday hearing, told reporters afterward that he would move the investigation along as quickly as possible. Such probes typically include impaneling a special grand jury, issuing subpoenas, taking witness statements and a final report.
“I intend to expedite everything. But the facts will take me where they take me,” Webb said. “I’m going to start fresh and see where it goes.”
Smollett, even after receiving the gracious gift of having his charges dropped, was released from his role on Empire, likely due to the egregious nature of the allegations against him.
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