NOT GUILTY. Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to the 16 felony counts charged against him by the Chicago jury. Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans/POOL/AFP

CHICAGO, USA – US television actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty on Thursday, March 14 to charges he lied to police about being the victim of a racist, homophobic hate crime.

The 36-year-old actor was charged with 16 felony counts last week for allegedly masterminding a false attack to gain publicity and win a bigger paycheck.

He is accused of sending himself a threatening letter and hiring two acquaintances to stage a street attack in downtown Chicago, complete with homophobic and racial slurs, while invoking Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan. 

News of the attack in January  attracted widespread shock and support for the actor, who is gay and black.

Smollett has maintained his innocence and his attorney Tina Glandian earlier this week said the case against him is mired in "misinformation."

"There has been a lot of misinformation in this case that has been presented as fact and evidence against Mr. Smollett, which is demonstrably false," Glandian said Tuesday, March 12.

Smollett found fame on Fox musical drama Empire, but was removed from the last two episodes of the show's latest season amid the controversy. 

The next court hearing was set for April 17. – Rappler.com



Source: Rappler

0 comments so far,add yours