Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty in court over alleged staged attack
The actor, who is currently charged with allegedly lying to police about a racist, homophobic attack, arrived at Chicago court on Thursday to enter formal pleas on more than a dozen felony counts. Authorities say Smollett allegedly filed a false hate crime in January.
WATCH: Jussie Smollett arrives at a Chicago courthouse Thursday, where he is expected to enter formal pleas on more than a dozen felony counts for allegedly falsely reporting a hate crime in January https://t.co/XDmkEQ1zUp pic.twitter.com/SVzJWDUb4a
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 14, 2019
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx asked Chicago’s top cop to turn Jussie Smollett probe over to FBI, texts and emails show https://t.co/mOfz8aaF6H
— Craig Newman (@craignewman) March 14, 2019
The shift in the investigation came amid intense press coverage and often bitter public debate and stinging skepticism on social media.
Smollett addressed those doubts in a national TV interview and in a strongly worded statement after the brothers were released from custody after questioning by police.
A week before the alleged attack, Smollett told police he received a threatening letter at work. Prosecutors said Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with the studio’s response to the threatening letter. Chicago police took it a step further, accusing Smollett of faking the letter as well.
Federal authorities are conducting a separate investigation into that letter.
Jussie Smollett is back in court. He is expected to enter his plea and a judge will be assigned to the case.