“Empire” star Jussie Smollett is sticking to the script. The controversial actor appeared in court this week to plead not guilty for filing a fake police report related to his January attack.
According to reports, Smollett pleaded not guilty to nearly 20 counts of disorderly conduct.
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Thursday in Cook County court to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a phony attack and claiming he was the victim of a hate crime. The plea of not guilty to charges of filing a phony police report came after Judge Steven Watkins was randomly assigned to preside over the high-profile case. (Chicago Tribune)
This week, Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos went in-in on the Chicago Police Department over the headline-generating charges.
“The fact of an indictment was not unexpected. We knew that there is no way they would expose their evidence to a public airing and subject their witnesses to cross-examination. What is unexpected, however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie.” Geragos continues, “This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie’s privacy in tampering with his medical records. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption.” (TMZ)
According to reports, Jussie received criminal charges related to his publicized Chi-Town attack.
The indictment charges Smollett with 16 counts of disorderly conduct. Smollett’s attorneys said they have no statement at this time. He remains out on bail pending an arraignment Thursday. The counts in the indictment obtained by CNN say Smollett gave statements to a Chicago police officer after the incident and to a detective. Details in some of those statements were different, the indictment says. (CNN)
Recently, rap star Drake‘s dad Dennis Graham spoke up for Smollett amid his publicized attack and rumors suggesting he might have staged it.
“Jussie has been misunderstood. As a matter of fact, they know that. That story that came out about Jussie in Chicago is not true about Jussie. Jussie is a friend of mine, also. They have totally reconstructed his story.” (Variety)