IT’S HAPPENING: Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty

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IT’S HAPPENING: Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty. Notorious alleged hate hoaxer Jussie Smollett has been indicted on 6 new charges and he’s still claiming he’s not guilty.

UPI reports television actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Monday on a six-count indictment charging him with falsely reporting that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack near his Chicago home.

Smollett, 37, entered the plea in the Chicago courtroom of Judge James Linn after the Cook County Circuit Court judge rejected a plea from Smollett’s attorneys to delay the arraignment as they sought to dismiss the charges against him.

Formerly a cast member of the popular television show Empire, Smollett and an entourage entered the court, ignoring questions shouted by reporters.

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IT’S HAPPENING: Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty

After entering the not guilty pleas, Linn set bond at $20,000 and released Smollett on his own recognizance, ordering him to return to court March 18. He quickly left the courthouse with his supporters, again without recognizing questions.

Smollett — who is black and openly gay — was indicted this month by a special grand jury that accused him of filing false police reports in connection with a January 2019 incident in which he said he was attacked by two white men who looped a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him after taunting him with racial and homophobic remarks.

Also In a case that divided the nation along lines of race and sexual orientation, police ultimately said the incident was a hoax and that Smollett staged the assault to bolster his career, and charged him with 16 counts of disorderly conduct.

Those charges were dropped a month later in a controversial move by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

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A Chicago judge subsequently accepted a petition to reopen the case and appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb to lead a new inquiry. Following a six-month investigation, Webb announced the new charges.

Smollett has maintained his innocence and said police have overlooked witnesses who corroborate his story.

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IT’S HAPPENING: Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty

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