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.

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.

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