ABCJussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty to six new charges of felony disorderly conduct after he was indicted by a grand jury in Chicago earlier this month.
The charges were filed on February 11 after a special prosecutor re-investigated allegations that he falsely reported being the victim of a hate-crime attack in Chicago in January 2019. Smollett previously pleaded not guilty to 16 counts related to the incident.
The former Empire star made his latest plea at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse on Monday morning during a preliminary hearing and arraignment. He was released on his own recognizance.
The Osundairo brothers, the pair who cooperated with police and admitted to helping the actor stage the alleged attack, were also in the courtroom Monday.
Smollett told police that on January 29, 2019, he was attacked by two men while walking on a street near his Chicago apartment and that the men shouted racist and homophobic slurs before assaulting him and pouring a chemical substance on him.
A Cook County judge appointed special prosecutor Dan Webb to continue looking into the case after all 16 charges against Smollett were ultimately dropped by the Cook County State’s Attorney Office.
After the new charges were announced, Webb accused Smollett of making four separate false reports to Chicago police despite “knowing he was not the victim of a crime.”
The investigation, which began on August 23, revealed that Smollett “planned and participated in a staged hate-crime attack,” Webb said.
Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, questioned the “integrity of the investigation,” noting that the same Chicago police detectives who conducted the previous investigation were involved in the probe that prompted the new charges.
Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx, who’s faced criticism for her office’s decision to drop the charges, is up for reelection on March 17.
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