Actor Jussie Smollett pleads “not guilty” to felony charges

Actor Jussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty to sixteen felony charges for making a false police report.

Smollett appeared in a Chicago Court today where his lawyer entered his not guilty plea.  Lawyer, Tina Glandian, entered the plea Thursday on Smollett’s behalf after Judge Steven Watkins was assigned to oversee the case, including the trial. The next court date was scheduled for 17th April.

Prosecutors allege that the actors’ report to police that he was attacked by two men, who yelled racist and homophobic slurs, before putting a noose around his neck, was part of a publicity hoax.

The actor reported that he had been assaulted by two marked men while walking in Chicago early one morning. The actor claimed the two men has put a noose around his neck, shouted racist and homophobic abuse and poured an unknown substance over him.

Smollett claimed the two men shouted “This is MAGA country” – a reference to Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan.

Police however were surprised when they could not find CCTV footage of the attack or attackers in the area where Smollet claimed the assault took place. Their investigations lead them to brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, both appeared as extras on Empire, and one works as Smollett’s personal trailer.

Police claim that Smollett faked the attack had had paid the brothers $3,500 to carry it out. They allege that the actor was deliberately creating publicity for himself so he could negotiate a higher paycheck on the TV show Empire. 

The actor has denied he created the attack himself and maintains that he is innocent of the charges.

OIP Staff