Jussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, maintaining his innocence amid allegations that he faked a possible hate crime against himself earlier this year. He told police that two men attacked him, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck.
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. 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. "They have totally reconstructed his story". "Obviously, Mr. Smollett has connections, he had a good position withFox, so this was someone that they had trusted to consider their best interests". He says he's working with authorities and has been "100 percent factual and consistent on every level".
Smollett's legal team does not yet appear to have issued new comments following the arraignment, but in a previous statement they reaffirmed his claims of innocence and chided the legal system for what they perceive as a target attack.
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"Meanwhile, following the news of his indictment, Chief Communications Officer of the Chicago Police Department Anthony Guglielmi tweeted: ".
The actor is accused of falsifying a police report, and lying to police. Smollett says he redacted information to protect the privacy of contacts and people not relevant to the attack.
According to prosecutors, the two men were Abel and Ola Osundairo, who both worked on Empire. Police question the brothers and search their apartment. "Jussie has been a person of high calibre and character". The men were released without being charged. One had appeared with Smollett on "Empire", police and their lawyer said. Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said police have the check. The decision was made to "avoid further disruption on set", producers said. Glandian said she would welcome cameras because "demonstrably false" evidence has been presented against her client.
"What is unexpected, however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie..."