Culture

Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to faking homophobic attack

Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to faking homophobic attack”

Since the Fox drama aired its mid-season finale in early December, star Jussie Smollett was attacked in what he claimed to be a hate crime, but he was later arrested and charged with 16 counts of filing a false police report for allegedly staging the attack.

The actor's lawyer, Tina Glandian, also addressed the case on Tuesday after appearing in court.

Jussie Smollett arrives in sunglasses at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for his hearing Thursday in Chicago. According to police, he led authorities to believe that his attackers were white when in fact his attackers were Nigerian-American men who he allegedly paid to attack him.

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A grand jury indicted Smollett last week on 16 counts of disorderly conduct related to a January 29 incident in which the 36-year-old told police he was attacked by men who used racial and homophobic slurs in his Streeterville neighborhood in Chicago.

Many suspected the 36-year-old Empire actor would enter a plea deal, which he didn't.

The Empire star will be allowed to travel to NY and Los Angeles without asking court for permission.

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Smollett appeared in court in Chicago to answer the indictment, which a grand jury returned last Friday.

He is accused of sending himself a threatening letter and hiring two acquaintances to stage a street attack in downtown Chicago, complete with homophobic and racial slurs, while invoking Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan. He has denied the charges of creating a fake hate crime hoax. ". Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career". Details in some of those statements were different, the indictment says. When Watkins warned him to show up on time for each future court hearing or risk jail time, Smollett replied, "Yes, your honor". "The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election", the statement added.

That judge will then likely ask Smollett to enter a plea.

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