Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges

Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges

Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges

Smollett's lawyer Tina Glandian, entered the plea on Smollett's behalf just hours after Judge Steven Watkins was assigned the high-profile case. His attorneys say they want the public to see the evidence, or lack thereof, in the case. He has denied all allegations against him.

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". A source told ET at the time that Smollett chose to come to court on Tuesday - though he wasn't required to - because he wanted to be as transparent as possible, and that he looks forward to the evidence being presented in court.

A grand jury in Chicago indicted him on 16 felony counts, which his lawyers have called "prosecutorial overkill".

In a statement, Smollett's attorney Mark Geragos said while the indictment was "not unexpected". Smollett has always maintained his innocence.

- Smollett's family issues a statement calling the attack a racial and homophobic hate crime.

- Police release the two men without charges after arresting them on suspicion of assaulting Smollett and holding them for almost 48 hours.

- Police say Smollett turned himself in to face a felony charge of disorderly conduct, which could bring up to three years in prison. Prosecutors said one had supplied Smollett with "designer drugs" in the past.

Osundairo brothers claim Jussie paid them
Ola and Abel Osundairo claim they were paid by Jussie Smollett to pull off the alleged attack. Instagram

Wednesday's episode, the 10th in the show's 18-episode fifth season, was filmed before Smollett's legal troubles. He was ordered to give up his passport and will remain under supervision until his case is adjudicated.

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked".

Federal authorities are conducting a separate investigation into that letter.

The subsection of the IL law states: "A person commits disorderly conduct when he or she knowingly ..."

In a video posted to the official Empire YouTube channel on March 13, a new episode is teased, but Smollett is nowhere to be found - sans a split second out-of-focus shot.

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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