Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to hate attack hoax charges
15 March, 2019, 04:17 | Author: Donna Miller
"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has arrived at a Chicago courthouse where he's expected to plead not guilty to charges accusing him of lying to the police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. Police initially investigated the case as a possible hate crime.
Police said the two brothers wore gloves during the staged attack, and did punch Smollett, but the scratches and bruises on Smollett's face most likely were self-inflicted.
The episode was of course filmed much before the controversy on Jussie staging a racial attack on himself and it has been announced that Jussie's character will be removed from the final two episodes of the seaon.
Smollett also made a court appearance on Tuesday to attend a hearing on whether cameras would be allowed at his hearing today, which the judge did in fact end up allowing.The actor's legal team said they welcomed cameras as a counter to what they called misinformation being leaked to the media. Smollett, who is free on bond, maintains his innocence. The counts in the indictment obtained by CNN say Smollett gave statements to a Chicago police officer after the incident and to a detective.
Not surprisingly, Smollett's first episode back had a lot of strong reaction on Twitter, with many admitting that it was hard to watch Smollett play his character Jamal without thinking about his real-life legal troubles.
- Police release the two men without charges after arresting them on suspicion of assaulting Smollett and holding them for almost 48 hours.
Nuccio DiNuzzo Getty Images
- Chicago's top prosecutor, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, recuses herself from the investigation. Glandian said she would welcome cameras because "demonstrably false" evidence has been presented against her client.
He was charged in February with felony disorderly conduct.
In case you missed it, the 36-year-old was indicted on 16 counts late last week for "false report of offense" - all class 4 felonies.
Police at the time said the attack was a publicity stunt because the actor was upset about his pay on the show.
Prosecutors allege that Smollett, who is black and gay and plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox TV show, hired two friends to help him stage the attack on him in downtown Chicago early on the morning of January 29.
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