Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty in disorderly conduct case

Esequiel Farfan
Marcha 14, 2019

Almost a month and a half after Jussie Smollett claimed he was brutally assaulted in the streets of Chicago, theEmpire actor appeared in court today to enter a plea to multiple charges of having given a false account to the police. Otherwise, Smollett can not leave IL without the court's permission while he is free on bail, and Watkins admonished the actor to be present an on-time for all of his upcoming court dates.

The actor is accused of falsifying a police report, and lying to police.

Smollett has denied the allegations, and his attorney Mark Geragos described the 16-count indictment as "overkill".

Jussie Smollett arrives in sunglasses at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for his hearing Thursday in Chicago.

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"We look forward to complete transparency and the truth coming out", attorney Tina Glandian said. He is charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct. According to the Empire star, who is black and openly gay, and who plays a gay character on the television show, his two assailants verbally showered him with racial and anti-gay slurs - before physically assaulting him, pouring a chemical on him and leaving him with a rope wrapped around his neck. Despite a flood of personal texts and other evidence that prosecutors presented in that late February hearing, Smollett has always insisted on his innocence and that he did not stage the attack.

CBS 2's Charlie De Mar has reported Smollett also directed the brothers to buy the noose at a hardware store and the hat and masks at a store in Uptown.

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. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the two men implicated Smollett while under police interrogation, and that authorities had the check Smollett wrote them in payment to prove it.

Police at the time said the attack was a publicity stunt because the actor was upset about his pay on the show.

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