2018 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Day 3
AP Photo/Matt Marton

Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty To 16 Felony Counts And Lying To Police

The Empire actor appeared at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for his hearing in Chicago, IL.

Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to a 16 count indictment for allegedly lying to authorities about a staged hate crime in court on Thursday (March 14). According to USA Today, the actor’s legal team requested on Tuesday (March 12) that cameras be present during court so that the public could see the alleged evidence proving the 36-year-old’s innocence.

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos joined Smollett’s defense team in February and argues that all the media coverage surrounding his client’s alleged hoax has created a tarnished image of his persona.

"What is unexpected, however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie," Geragos stated last week. "This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie's privacy in tampering with his medical records."

Another lawyer assigned to Jussie’s case, Tina Glandian, reportedly filed the non-guilty plea on his behalf.

Before his plea occurred, Judge Steven G. Watkins was assigned to his case. Watkins slightly changed some of the stipulations to the court mandates once Jussie was released on bond. He allowed the Empire star to travel to New York and Los Angeles to meet with his attorneys without having to get court approval.

Smollett was allegedly attacked in Jan. 2019 by two men wearing black ski masks. He alleged that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime by two MAGA supporters. Since then, many discrepancies on the case have surfaced which have led the Chicago Police Department to question whether or not, the incident is true.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson held a press conference last month, in which he furiously denounced Smollett’s alleged lie, stating the actor used his racial identity to his advantage to bring attention to himself and lie about the whole ordeal

“I am left hanging my head asking ‘why?’ Why would anyone – especially an African-American man – use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations,” Johnson said. “Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who is in need of support by police and investigators as well as the citizens of this city … I’m offended by what happened and I am also angry.”

Smollet is due back in court on April 17, 2019.

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Jay-Z And Chance The Rapper To Headline Woodstock 50

Th lineup up for Woodstock's 50th anniversary festival has been announced, and the roster is stacked with your favorite artists. Jay-Z and Chance the Rapper are just two of the headlining acts for the summer 2019 event.

The festival will run for three days. The first day will include performances from Run the Jewels, Princess Nokia, Akon, Santana, and more. The second day will include Chance, India.Arie, Gary Clark Jr., and Sir. The third and final day will finish strong with Jay-Z, Janelle Monae, Common, and Earl Sweatshirt.

Co-founder and producer of the festival Michael Lang told Billboard  that the lineup will be a "mix of some of the old bands who are still performing and a lot of new headline talent. Probably more than any other festival's ever had."

Lang added: "It'll cross genres from rock to pop, folk and hip hop. It's kind of representative of this idea of engagement and trying to steer toward acts that are heavily involved in social issues. So there's some real gravitas in the performance and we want it to live on beyond the event."

In addition to the musical performances, Woodstock 50 has announced its non-profit partners, including Conservation International, Dolphin Project, Felix Organization, Happy Hippie Foundation, HeadCount, Hiring America, March For Our Lives, REFORM Alliance, Seva Foundation and SocialWorks.

The original Woodstock was held in New York's Catskill Mountains from 1969 to 2009. More than 32 acts performed during the events, attracting 400,000 fans. Woodstock 50 will hit Watkins Glen, New York from Aug. 16, to Aug. 18. Check out the full lineup below.

https://twitter.com/woodstockfest/status/1108148798973493250

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'Young And The Restless' Star Kristoff St. John's Cause Of Death Revealed

Kristoff St. John reportedly died of heart disease that was triggered by alcohol abuse, TMZ reports. The Young and the Restless star's cause of death and autopsy report was released on Tuesday (Mar. 19).

The official cause of death was listed as hypertrophic heart disease and categorized as accidental, according to the medical reports. The disease reportedly makes it difficult for blood to reach the heart and often goes undetected.

In regards to St. John's death being marked an "accident," medical officials said the star was on an alcohol "binge" at the time of his death. The report also noted that St. John was discharged from the a mental health facility in Los Angeles only two days before his death. He was reportedly admitted to a 72-hour hold for psychiatric evaluation after he threatened to harm himself.

As previously reported, the actor was found dead on Feb. 3, in his San Fernando Valley home. Sources close to the late star said he struggled with substance abuse and depression, both of which may have stemmed from his son Julian's suicide in 2014.

Kristoff played Neil Winters on Young and the Restless. He earned nine Daytime Emmy Award nominations for the role.

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Pooch Hall Accepts Plea Deal In Child Endangerment And DUI Case

Pooch Hall will not being heading to prison for his recent DUI incident that resulting in him wrecking his vehicle while his young child was in the car. The Ray Donovan actor accepted a plea deal in the misdemeanor case on Tuesday (Mar. 19), TMZ reports.

In exchange for no jail time, Hall has been sentenced to three years probation. He will also have to complete a three-month alcohol program and attend parenting classes for one year.

As previously reported, Hall was charged with felony child abuse and a DUI in Oct. 2018 after a witness spotted him driving recklessly with a toddler in his lap. He eventually swerved off the road and crashed into a parked car. Another bystander said they saw Hall's child crying in the front seat. The car seat was allegedly not installed. When the police and medical team arrived, he reportedly blew .25, which is more than three times the legal limit.

The actor originally faced six years in prison for the charges. As long as Hall completes the ordered programs and probation, the charges will be dismissed.

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