Actor Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to Restored Charges
Written by Lindah Nduwumwami on February 26, 2020
Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Monday to restored charges that accuse him of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself last year in Chicago and then falsely reporting to that the phony attack was real. A somber looking Smollett, 37, entered a Cook County courthouse wearing sunglasses and sporting a beard, flanked by his legal teams and surrounded by reporters. His lawyer, Tina Glandian, entered the not guilty pleas on his behalf to six counts of felony disorderly conduct. She also told Judge James B. Linn that she has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to halt the case. Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of the charge in the same courthouse last year, just weeks before the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office abruptly announced it was dismissing the case, angering police and City Hall. Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, a former U.S. attorney who was appointed to examine the state’s attorney’s office’s handling of the case, represented the state. Foxx’s office is not involved in the new case against Smollett. Smollett has repeatedly denied police allegations that he staged the attack to get attention and further his career. Defendants typically enter not guilty pleas during initial hearings before the trial judge, who sets bond amounts that defendants must post to secure their release. Attorneys often arrange for defendants to post bond at the clerk’s office rather than be taken into custody.