Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty in Hoax Assault Case

Article Image Update Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to 16 Charges Lying to Police

Smollett was arrested on February 21 after being charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report in which he claimed he was the victim of a hate crime. Smollett has always maintained his innocence.

Smollett remained silent as he entered the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago wearing a suit and sunglasses.

He was in court Tuesday for a hearing to determine whether a judge should allow cameras in court.

Smollett was arrested by Chicago police shortly after claiming that he was beaten up in a racist and homophobic attack, as they suspected that he faked the attack "to promote his career".

Fox cut Smollett's character in "Empire" after he was arrested.

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.

Smollett has denied that he staged the attack and maintains he is innocent.

Chicago Police have opened an internal investigation into media leaks in the case, something Smollett's legal team will likely use in court. The counts in the indictment obtained by CNN say Smollett gave statements to a Chicago police officer after the incident and to a detective.

- Producers of "Empire" dispute media reports that Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, was being written off the show. They became cooperating witnesses and were released without charges. Glandian said she would welcome cameras because "demonstrably false" evidence has been presented against her client. 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.

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 say Smollett turned himself in to face a felony charge of disorderly conduct, which could bring up to three years in prison.

Smollett, who is black and openly gay, had told police he was attacked as he was walking home around 2 a.m. on January 29.

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