Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to charges he lied about alleged attack

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 14, 2019

Lawyer Tina Glandian entered the plea on behalf of the 36-year-old actor during a hearing in Cook county circuit court after Judge Steven Watkins was assigned to oversee the case, including the future trial. 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 next court date was scheduled for April 17. He is accused of filing a false police report.

Actor Jussie Smollett (C) and team arrive for a court hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on March 12, 2019 in Chicago.

Smollett's attorneys have said he welcomes cameras in court, as a counter to "misinformation" they claim has been leaked to the media since he reported being attacked in Streeterville in January.

Chicago police eventually arrested Smollett on suspicion that he had faked the incident "to promote his career", saying at a news conference last month that he paid his would-be attackers - brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo - to carry it out.

"We look forward to complete transparency and the truth coming out", Glandian said.

Smollett is charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct. Last week, a grand jury indicted Smollett on 16 felony counts of lying to authorities - eight counts from what he told the officer who responded to the report of the attack and eight from what he later told a detective about being the victim of a brutal racist and homophobic beating by two masked men in downtown Chicago back in January. 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 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.

Smollett has denied all the allegations.

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