Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to lying about attack

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

Is the Jussie Smollett Case Enough to Bring Down "Empire?"

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has plead not guilty to multiple charges of disorderly conduct.

The "Empire" actor, 36, will be arraigned before a judge and enter a formal plea.

In court today, the actor has been given a new set of travel restrictions, being allowed to travel freely between NY and Los Angeles to meet with his lawyers.

We'll continue to keep you updated as we're sure we'll be hearing more about the case ahead of his upcoming April court date. The charges all are Class 4 felonies, the lowest category of felony offense under IL law.

"Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption", the lawyer, Mark Geragos, said last week.

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

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Gloria Schmidt, the attorney for the brothers allegedly involved in the incident, was also seated in the courtroom. He told police that two men attacked him, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck.

But in a press conference following Smollett's arrest, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department Eddie T. Johnson claimed that the actor staged his alleged attack to promote his career, and because he was "dissatisfied" with his Empire salary.

"The fact of an indictment was not unexpected", the statement read.

Ola and Abel Osundairo claim they were paid by Jussie Smollett to pull off the alleged attack. But the tide began to turn just days later, when police announced that the trajectory of the investigation had changed, and that Smollett would be treated as a suspect.

Interestingly enough, Empire returned for its Season 5 midseason premiere on Wednesday, marking the show's first new episode since Smollett's alleged January 29 attack. "(4) Transmits or causes to be transmitted in any manner to any peace officer, public officer or public employee a report to the effect that an offense will be committed, is being committed, or has been committed, knowing at the time of the transmission that there is no reasonable ground for believing that the offense will be committed, is being committed, or has been committed".

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