“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett made his first appearance in court after being charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct.
His attorney, Tina Glandin, entered a not guilty plea for Smollett, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Attorney Tina Glandian has just entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Smollett.— Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) February 24, 2020
He was expected to plead not guilty after entering a not guilty plea last year on 16 of the same charges. Those previous charges were dismissed by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, The Associated Press reported.
Smollett did agree to community service and forfeited a $10,000 bond, with Foxx saying that dismissal was "just disposition and appropriate resolution," but that the actor was not exonerated, WMAQ reported.
Both the original dismissed charges, as well as the current charges Smollett faces, stem from the allegations that Smollett was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago in 2019. Foxx's office is not involved in the latest case, the AP reported.
Smollett said that he was attacked by two men wearing masks as he walked home Jan. 29, 2019. He said the men made racist and homophobic insults as they beat him and put a noose around his neck before they ran away. Despite wearing masks, Smollett said one of the men was white and wore a hat depicting President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”
After an investigation, Chicago police said Smollett staged the attack, paying two people known to Smollett, to help boost his career.
Police said last year that Smollett paid the men $3,500 and that they found evidence in text messages and video surveillance. One of the two men, Abimbola Osundario, was a fitness trainer who appeared on Smollett's show, WMAQ reported.
Smollett has defended himself against the police department’s claims that the attack was staged.
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