Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to charges he lied about alleged attack

Jussie Smollett arrives at court where he pleaded not guilty

Ashlee Rezin Chicago Sun Times via APJussie Smollett arrives at court where he pleaded not guilty

First charged and arrested on February 21 over the seemingly violent January 29 incident that Chicago PD initially considered a "potential hate crime", Smollett was indicted on the more than a dozen new charges on March 8.

The actor appeared in court earlier this week, when prosecutors and defence lawyers agreed to allow cameras during Thursday's hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

His next court date is April 17.

According to the Empire star, who is black and openly gay, and who plays a gay character on the television show, his two assailants verbally showered him with racial and anti-gay slurs - before physically assaulting him, pouring a chemical on him and leaving him with a rope wrapped around his neck.

Actor Jussie Smollett denies lying to police and faking a hate crime attack; Matt Finn reports from Chicago.

An attorney for the Osundairo brothers, Abimbola "Abel" and Olabinjo "Ola", has said a $3500 check the actor gave the brothers was for both personal training and to stage an attack.

Jussie Smollett in his police booking
CHICAGO POLICEJussie Smollett in his police booking

After the alleged attack, Smollett received support on social media, including from celebrities and Democratic presidential candidates.

Watkins granted Smollett's request to be allowed to leave the state meet with his lawyers in NY and California, but said the actor must give the court at least 48 hours' prior notice.

In a statement, Smollett's attorney Mark Geragos said while the indictment was "not unexpected".

Almost a month and a half after Jussie Smollett claimed he was brutally assaulted in the streets of Chicago, theEmpire actor appeared in court today to enter a plea to multiple charges of having given a false account to the police.

Cameras were allowed in the courtroom Thursday, though there was no live feed of the proceedings. That is not a point that prosecutors seem to have pursued in their case and one that various sources at Fox and others close to Smollett have scoffed at.

There were several supporters outside the courthouse doors as Smollett arrived for the hearing, including some who waved signs.

Alleged Robbery Victim Claims Conor McGregor Went for Handshake Before Destroying Phone
Justin Bieber Opens Up About Mental Health Struggle in Candid Instagram Post