Actor Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct

An Illinois grand jury returned two separate sets of charges against the "Empire" actor, who claims he was the target of a bias attack in Chicago
2:11 | 03/09/19

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Transcript for Actor Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct
on a very busy Friday night. I'm Tom llamas in for David. We begin with breaking news out of Chicago. New charges for empire actor jussie smollett. A federal jury indicted him with 16 felonies. Smollett originally blaming it on these two men seen on the surveillance image. Tonight he's free on $100,000 bond. His future in greater jeopardy. Steve osunsami starts us off. Reporter: The actor and singer who police say made up a racist attack and then lied to America is now facing 16 new felony charges tonight for lies police say he told during two separate interviews with Chicago investigators. I'm left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? Reporter: Each new charge is for each alleged lie when he told police how he was attacked on his way home from a sandwich shop to his Chicago apartment in the early morning of January 29th. He told them that he was beat up by two men with covered faces who poured a chemical on him and were yelling out racial and homophobic slurs. He's supposed to be well known. Requesting a report. Said a noose was placed over the front's neck. Reporter: In the second interview, police confirm that this is when the actor said that his attackers screamed "Maga country," an allegation that has turned this whole incident into a political controversy. He said, "This is Maga country, . And punches me right in the face. I punched his Back. Reporter: Police say he paid these two men to stage the attack. In this Instagram post from director Lee Daniels, who created the series that made the actor famous, you see a wound underneath the actors eye, which police say was likely self-inflicted. All right Steve osunsami joins us now. Steve, these are felony charges. What kind of prison time could smollett be facing? He could get up to three years in prison if he's convicted. He's not yet entered a plea on the current charges. He's pleading not guilty on the original charge. Tom? Steve osunsami with that new indictment. Steve, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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