Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty in staged attack case

Smollett's lawyer Tina Glandian, entered the plea on Smollett's behalf just hours after Judge Steven Watkins was assigned the high-profile case.

Actor Jussie Smollett denies lying to police and faking a hate crime attack; Matt Finn reports from Chicago.

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

Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Thursday to multiple disorderly conduct charges.

On Wednesday night, Empire returned from its Season 5 hiatus after a long three months away - and boy, were those three months eventful. In his revision, he noted that Smollett will now be allowed to travel to Los Angeles and New York City to meet with attorneys without formally seeking the court's approval. Watkins agreed to allow Smollett to travel to California and NY to meet with his lawyers and set his next hearing for April 17.

Smollett addressed those doubts in a national TV interview and in a strongly worded statement after the brothers were released from custody after questioning by police. We welcome cameras in the courtroom so that members of the media can see the actual evidence - and what we feel is actually going to be a lack of evidence - against Mr. Smollett.

While cameras were present for Watkins' assignment, the judge will ultimately decide if court proceedings beyond Thursday's brief hearing can be video-recorded.

In January, Smollett claimed that he was attacked by two masked men who beat him, put a rope around his neck, dumped a chemical on him, and yelled "This is MAGA country!"

He said: "If you believe what the police chief is saying, they've got a great case against the two brothers".

Ola and Abel Osundairo claim they were paid by Jussie Smollett to pull off the alleged attack. The counts focus on allegedly false statements made to two different Chicago Police officers.

Smollett maintains his innocence.

In a searing live press conference on that same day, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said it was "shameful' what Smollett allegedly try to pull off and accused him of perpetuating a "hoax".

  • Gwendolyn Kim