Jussie Smollett faces six new charges

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By BBC News 

TV actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a special prosecutor in Illinois on six counts of lying to police.

The Empire actor said he was the subject of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago last year.

Authorities have accused him of staging the attack on himself for publicity, something he has always denied.

 

Smollett now faces six counts of disorderly conduct, special prosecutor Dan Webb said in a statement.

In January last year, Chicago police said they were investigating a suspected racist and homophobic attack on Smollett by two masked men.

They said the actor was punched in the face, had an "unknown chemical substance" poured on him and a rope wrapped around his neck.

Smollett told police the two attackers also made reference to MAGA, or Make America Great Again - the slogan often used by President Donald Trump and his supporters.

 

Celebrities like Viola Davis, Janelle Monae and TI, alongside his Empire co-stars, tweeted messages of support.

In February last year, Smollett himself was arrested.

Police accused the actor of paying two brothers to carry out the attack "to promote his career" because he was "dissatisfied with his salary".

But, in March, after an emergency court appearance, all charges against Smollett were dropped.

Chicago Police and the city's mayor stood by their case against Smollett - and accused the courts of letting him "off scot-free".

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