'Empire' actor Smollett pleads not guilty to lying about Chicago attack

'Empire' actor Smollett pleads not guilty to lying about Chicago attack

'Empire' actor Smollett pleads not guilty to lying about Chicago attack

We just posted on Jussie Smollett and how he's pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct but the conversation surrounded on the actor has more to do with his Empire character during yesterday's midseason premiere.

- Smollett's family issues a statement calling the attack a racial and homophobic hate crime.

Smollett has maintained his innocence and his attorney Tina Glandian earlier this week said the case against him is mired in "misinformation".

That judge will then likely ask Smollett to enter a plea.

Smollett has denied any involvement in orchestrating an attack.

Smollett also was in court Tuesday for a hearing to determine whether a judge should allow cameras in court.

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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.

The Empire actor is accused of lying to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack earlier this year.

"Meanwhile, following the news of his indictment, Chief Communications Officer of the Chicago Police Department Anthony Guglielmi tweeted: ".

Not surprisingly, Smollett's first episode back had a lot of strong reaction on Twitter, with many admitting that it was hard to watch Smollett play his character Jamal without thinking about his real-life legal troubles. They became cooperating witnesses and were released without charges.

State's Attorney Kim Foxx has asked Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to turn the case over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Glandian said she would welcome cameras because "demonstrably false" evidence has been presented against her client.

Smollett is now facing 16 felony counts. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense", Smollett's attorneys said in February.

- Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity to further his career. A decision on whether he will remain with the show beyond that has not been made. Investigators say they have a $3,500 check that Smollett used to pay the brothers to help him.

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