A judge is expected to be assigned to Jussie Smollett's disorderly conduct case when the Empire actor returns to a Chicago court Thursday, just days after lawyers on both sides agreed that cameras would be allowed in the courtroom. Police initially investigated the case as a possible hate crime. "Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption". Smollett's lawyers say the actor feels "victimized" by reports that he played a role in the assault. Allegations against Mr. Smollett are shameful and if proven, they are an affront to the people of Chicago who embraced him as a neighbor & respected him as a role model.
The "Empire" actor is accused of staging a fake attack on himself because he was allegedly dissatisfied with his pay.
It's being said he will need to attend every court date from here on out, but is allowed to travel to Los Angeles and NY for meetings with his lawyers.
The Empire star was back in court on Thursday for his arraignment, where he revealed his stance. His legal team said it welcomed cameras due to what it described as "misinformation" leaked to the media since Smollett reported being attacked in January.
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What's insane, though, is that Jussie's on-screen character, Jamal, was dealing with issues with the media in last night's episode. The men were released without being charged.
- Police say Smollett is officially suspected of filing a false police report by claiming he was attacked and that a grand jury was being presented with evidence from detectives and hearing testimony from the two brothers. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the two men implicated Smollett while under police interrogation, and that authorities had the check Smollett wrote them in payment to prove it. A decision on whether he will remain with the show beyond that has not been made. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense", Smollett's attorneys said in February.
Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Thursday to multiple disorderly conduct charges.
Prosecutors claimed during a hearing that same day that Smollett had paid two brothers - Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo, who worked as a stand-in on the Fox drama, and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo, an extra - to stage the attack.