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Entertainment: Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack

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CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett goes to trial Monday on charges that he lied to Chicago police when the former “Empire” actor and R&B singer reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack nearly three years ago. Some key moments in the story:

  Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack © Provided by The Canadian Press

Jan. 22, 2019

— Smollett receives a racist and homophobic threatening letter at the studio in Chicago where "Empire" is filmed. Police later say they believe Smollett sent the letter himself.

Jan. 29, 2019

— Jussie Smollett tells police he was attacked by two men in downtown Chicago at 2 a.m. The actor says the men used racist and homophobic slurs, wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an "unknown substance" on him. Police say Smollett, who is Black and gay, told detectives the attackers also yelled he was in "MAGA country," an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan that some Trump critics call racist and discriminatory.

Jussie Smollett Makes First Red Carpet Appearance in Years Following Alleged Hate Crime Attack

  Jussie Smollett Makes First Red Carpet Appearance in Years Following Alleged Hate Crime Attack The former Empire actor attended a screening of his new film and directorial debut B-Boy Blues in New York City on Friday evening On Friday evening, the 39-year-old actor attended a screening of his new film B-Boy Blues at the AMC Magic Johnson Harlem multiplex in New York City — his first red carpet since his alleged 2019 hate crime attack in Chicago and subsequent legal troubles. For the outing, the Empire alum wore a black turtleneck and gray jacket as he smiled and posed for cameras before him. "Beyond humbled by last night's screening," Smollett said on his Instagram Story the following day.

Jan. 30, 2019

— Chicago police say they've reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance camera footage, including of Smollett walking downtown, but none shows the attack. Police obtain and release images of two people they want to question, calling them "persons of interest."

— Reports of an assault on Smollett draw outrage and support for him on social media from some politicians and celebrities.

Jan. 31, 2019

— Smollett's family issues a statement calling the attack a hate crime and disputing claims that he changed his story.

Feb. 1, 2019

— Smollett issues a statement saying he's OK, that he's working with authorities and has been "100 percent factual and consistent on every level."

Feb. 2, 2019

— Smollett opens a concert in West Hollywood, California, with an emotional speech, saying he had to play the show because he couldn't let his attackers win.

Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack

  Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett goes to trial Monday on charges that he lied to Chicago police when the former “Empire” actor and R&B singer reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack nearly three years ago. Some key moments in the story: Jan. 22, 2019 — Smollett receives a racist and homophobic threatening letter at the studio in Chicago where "Empire" is filmed. Police later say they believe Smollett sent the letter himself. Jan. 29, 2019 — Jussie Smollett tells police he was attacked by two men in downtown Chicago at 2 a.m.

Feb. 13, 2019

— Chicago police pick up two Nigerian brothers at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport after police learn at least one worked on "Empire." Police question them and search their apartment.

Feb. 15, 2019

— Chicago police release the brothers without charges after arresting them on suspicion of assault and holding them for nearly 48 hours. A police spokesman says they're no longer suspects.

Feb. 16, 2019

— Police say the investigation has "shifted" after detectives questioned the brothers, and request a follow-up interview with Smollett. His lawyers say he feels "victimized" by reports that he played a role in the assault.

Feb. 17, 2019

— Chicago police reach out to Smollett's attorney saying they still want to interview him again because new information has "shifted" their investigation.

Feb. 19, 2019

— Chicago's top prosecutor, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, recuses herself from the investigation. Her office says the decision was made "out of an abundance of caution ... to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case."

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Feb. 20, 2019

— Prosecutors charge Smollett with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report about the alleged attack.

Feb. 21, 2019

— Chicago police say Smollett surrenders to face a felony charge of disorderly conduct, punishable by up to three years in prison.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Investigators say they have a $3,500 check that Smollett used to pay the two brothers to help him.

Feb. 22, 2019

— “Empire” producers say Smollett's character to be removed from the final two episodes of the season.

March 7, 2019

— A Cook County grand jury returns a 16-count indictment charging Smollett with falsely reporting an offense.

March 26, 2019

— Smollett's attorneys say charges alleging he lied to police have been dropped.

March 28, 2019

— A city official says Chicago is seeking $130,000 from Smollett to cover the cost of the investigation into his reported beating, which police say was staged.

April 11, 2019

— The city of Chicago files a lawsuit seeking to recoup the investigation costs.

Jussie Smollett Trial Begins After Special Prosecutor Revived Case Against Actor

  Jussie Smollett Trial Begins After Special Prosecutor Revived Case Against Actor Jussie Smollett is charged with six counts of disorderly conduct on suspicion of making false reports to investigators in 2019 after telling police he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. His lawyer has entered not guilty pleas on his behalf. RELATED: Jussie Smollett Seen Wearing Rope Around His Neck on Night of Alleged Attack in Police Footage Smollett, an openly gay Black actor, was originally indicted in March 2019 with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report claiming that two men attacked him on Jan. 29, 2019.

April 15, 2019

— The Cook County State's Attorney's Office releases thousands of documents in the Smollett case in response to open records requests, including a text from Foxx calling Smollett a “washed up celeb” who was overcharged.

April 23, 2019

— The brothers who said they helped Smollett stage the attack file a defamation lawsuit against the actor's attorneys.

Aug. 23, 2019

— Judge names former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb as special prosecutor to investigate why charges against Smollett were dropped.

Feb. 11, 2020

— Webb says grand jury returns six-count indictment against Smollett, accusing him of lying to police.

Feb. 24, 2020

— Smollett pleads not guilty to restored charges.

Oct. 15, 2021

— Judge James Linn denies a last-ditch effort to dismiss the criminal case against Smollett and sets his trial for Nov. 29.

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Check out the AP's complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case.

The Associated Press

Closing arguments set in actor Jussie Smollett's trial .
CHICAGO (AP) — Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday morning in the case against former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who is accused of staging a racist, anti-gay attack against himself in downtown Chicago to get publicity. The jury is then expected to begin deliberating whether Smollett is guilty on six counts of a low-level felony for lying to Chicago police about the January 2019 attack. Taking the witness stand earlier this week, Smollett repeatedly denied the attack was a fake, telling a prosecutor “there was no hoax on my part” and that two brothers who testified against him are “liars.

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