Jury selection began on Monday in the trial of Jussie Smollett, the actor who nearly three years ago reported he had been the victim of a hate crime in Chicago, setting off a wave of public fury that quickly turned into accusations that it all had been a hoax.
When Mr. Smollett reported in January 2019 that two men, yelling racist and homophobic slurs, had beaten him, he had primarily been known for his role in the music-industry television drama “Empire.” He later lost that role after being indicted on charges that he had lied to the police, who concluded that he had paid two brothers to stage the attack.
Mr. Smollett is now standing trial on six counts of felony disorderly conduct associated with the reports he had made to the police. The grand-jury indictment asserts he had “no reasonable ground for believing that such an offense had been committed.”
Mr. Smollett entered the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago around 9 a.m. on Monday, exiting a black S.U.V. and clutching the arm of his mother, Janet Smollett.