Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to Lying About Staged Hate Crime
CHICAGO (AP) – “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded no longer to blame Thursday to fees accusing him of mendacity to the police about being the sufferer of a racist and homophobic assault in downtown Chicago a couple of weeks in the past.
Lawyer Tina Glandian entered the plea on behalf of the 36-year-old actor throughout a listening to in Cook County Circuit Court after Judge Steven Watkins used to be assigned to oversee the case, together with the trial.
Watkins granted Smollett’s request to be allowed to meet with attorneys in New York and California, however stated the actor should give the court docket no less than 48 hours’ prior understand. He scheduled the following listening to for April 17.
Smollett is charged with 16 counts of disorderly behavior.
Prosecutors allege that Smollett, who’s black and homosexual and performs the homosexual persona Jamal Lyon at the hit Fox TV display, employed two pals to lend a hand him level the assault on him in downtown Chicago early at the morning of Jan. 29. They say Smollett used to be unsatisfied about his wage and sought after to drum up exposure to lend a hand his occupation.
Smollett has denied that he staged the assault and maintains he’s blameless. His legal professionals have referred to as the fees in opposition to him “prosecutorial overkill.”
There had been a number of supporters out of doors the courthouse doorways as Smollett arrived for the listening to, together with some who waved indicators. Activist Wisdom Cole led a couple of chants in enhance of the actor, the black neighborhood and the LGBT neighborhood.
“Jussie has been a person of high caliber and character. He comes from an activist family. He has a consistent track record and history of supporting marginalized people … and so his track record is not on par with the idea of a hoax,” she stated.
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