Jussie Smollett arrives at Leighton Criminal Courthouse on March 14, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Smollett stands accused of arranging a homophobic, racist attack against himself in an attempt to raise his profile because he was dissatisfied with his salary on the Fox television drama ‘Empire.’
Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo (Getty Images)

It’s official: Jussie Smollett says he’s not guilty.

According to Deadline, on Thursday, the 36-year-old Empire actor pled not guilty to all 16 disorderly conduct counts via his attorney, Tina Glandian.


After an Illinois grand jury indicted Smollett on the 16 felony counts, some experts believed he would enter a plea deal to entirely avoid any possibility of prison. However, it looks like the actor isn’t copping any pleas after all. He is currently out on $100,000 bail.

Trial Judge Steven Watkins conducted Thursday’s arraignment, also bestowing an expanded allowance to Smollett’s travel restrictions. The actor will now be permitted to travel to Los Angeles and New York City to consult with his legal team.

This plea hearing is Smollett’s second time in court this week, after having made an unexpected appearance during a procedural hearing on March 12, where defense lawyer Mark Geragos filled out paperwork to represent the actor. Geragos did not appear in court on Thursday.


If you can believe it, it’s only been about a month and a half since Smollett first claimed he was the victim of a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago. Of course, by now, it actually feels like years have passed since then.

Smollett’s next court date will be April 17.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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