Jussie Smollett's back in Chicago, finally standing trial for allegedly staging the racist and homophobic attack he reported to cops ... and he's brought lots of backup.
The actor was greeted by a huge crowd of reporters and photographers on his way into the courthouse Monday morning. Jussie was flanked by 7 family members, including his sister Jurnee Smollett, as he strode in to face charges of felony disorderly conduct over the alleged January 2019 attack.
A grand jury indicted Smollett last year on six counts -- all related to lying to cops about the incident -- and he's pled not guilty to all the charges.
This is take 2 for Chicago in prosecuting Smollett for allegedly lying. He'd originally been hit with 16 charges, but the prosecutor's office unexpectedly dropped all of them back in March 2019.
A special prosecutor then presented the case to a grand jury ... resulting in the 6 new charges.
You'll recall, Jussie originally said 2 white men had attacked him at 2 AM on a brutally cold night ... hurling homophobic and racist slurs and, pouring what he believed to be bleach, all over him. He also claimed they'd yelled, "This is MAGA country" at him and left a rope around his neck.
However, Abel and Ola Osundairo eventually came forward and claimed the whole thing was staged.
The brothers, who are definitely NOT white, told cops Jussie paid them to pull off the fake attack ... which pissed off Chicago PD and led to Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx bringing the original charges.
The Osundairo brothers are expected to testify during Jussie's new trial.
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Now, as jury selection finally begins -- the trial was delayed due to the pandemic -- Smollett faces a possible maximum sentence of 3 years in prison, if he's convicted on all 6 charges.