"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Thursday on 16 felony counts for allegedly staging a homophobic and racist attack on himself with the aid of accomplices.

The indictment and the number of felonies Smollett was charged with is a significant increase from the original charges against him made by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office on Feb. 20, which included one sole felony count of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

Court documents show Smollett faces 16 counts of the same charge.

Smollett, 36, originally claimed he was the victim of a hate crime on Jan. 29 at 2 a.m. when two men accosted him in the Streeterville, an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. Smollett claimed they threw an unidentified chemical liquid on him and twisted a rope around his neck.

Chicago Police investigated the incident as a hate crime against Smollett, who is black and openly gay. Investigators' focus shifted in February when they detained two "persons of interest" — Nigerian brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, who said Smollet paid them $3,500 to stage the attack.

According to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Smollett set up the false attack due to a dissatisfaction with his salary on "Empire." After initially faking a letter which also utilized racist and homophobic language in order to draw attention to himself, Smollett hired the Osundairo brothers to assist him in a bigger stunt.

The letter Smollett allegedly sent to himself is currently in FBI custody, where it is being analyzed in a crime lab. No charges have been brought to court in connection with the note so far, though experts have stated that it could result in a separate federal investigation.

Following charges of felony disorderly conduct in February, the "Empire" actor was released on a $100,000 bail, which was paid with a $10,000 bond. He was also forced to give up his passport and was ordered to remain under supervision until the adjudication of his case.

The new charges are in conjunction with two separate sets returned by the grand jury, the first set in relation two the number of lies Smollett told during his first interview with law enforcement, and the second in regards to a follow-up interview that took place later that same day, in which he relayed that one of his attackers was white and that the men had come at him from behind and continued to kick him after he fell to the ground.

The two separate sets of charges also align with the two different Chicago police officers that Smollett purportedly lied to.

Mark Geragos, a member of Smollett's defense team and a legal analyst for CNN, stated that the indictment was "prosecutorial overkill."

"This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines," Geragos said of the charges against his client, who has continued to maintain his innocence throughout the ordeal.

"Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption," Geragos added in a statement released to the press.

The actor is currently out of jail pending arraignment Thursday.

In addition to judicial measures brought against Smollett, the actor's "Empire" character, Jamal, was written off of the last two episodes of the Fox show's current season in an attempt to "avoid further disruption on set," according to producers.

If convicted, Smollett can receive up to three years in prison, though he is expected to enter a plea deal to avoid incarceration.

Jussie Smollett after bond posting
Empire actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail after posting bond on Feb 21, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
Jussie Smollett after bond posting
Empire actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County jail after posting bond on Feb 21, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images