Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty In Hoax Assault Case
Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Thursday to a 16-count indictment accusing him of orchestrating a fake hate crime. The ‘Empire’ star arrived in court in Chicago, along with some of his siblings.
If convicted he could face three years in prison, though it is also possible he would be sentenced to probation.
Smollett is accused of lying about a hate crime and staging the attack Jan. 29. Prosecutors state that he orchestrated the incident, using brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, who both worked on “Empire”, to act as if they were attacking him. He is said to have paid the men $3,500 to stage the attack.
He is accused of filing a false police report. Smollett and his attorney Mark Geragos maintain his innocence. Smollett did an interview on GMA last month.
Smollett has since been suspended from ‘Empire’ and was written out of the final two episodes of this season. It is rumored, but not confirmed, that his character may be recast or killed off.