Actor and singer Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to restored charges in Chicago related to claims that he staged a homophobic and racist attack against himself in an effort to get attention.
Smollett arrived in Chicago’s Cook County courthouse Monday (Feb. 24) with his lawyer Tina Glandian, The Chicago Tribune reports. Glandian entered the not guilty pleas to six counts of felony disorderly conduct that relate to the 37-year-old filing fake police reports about the Jan. 2019 incident. His lawyer also mentioned to Judge James B. Linn that she has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to halt the case.
While Smollett has remained steadfast about his version of the attack, Chicago police claimed he hired brothers Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo to stage the incident.
Last year, Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts which were later dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, angering many.
The restored charges were announced on Tuesday (Feb. 11) by a grand jury in Chicago, The New York Times reports. Since the summer of 2019, the case has been in the hands of special prosecutor Dan. K Webb, who was assigned after a judge determined Foxx did not conduct it properly the first time.
“Based on the recommendation of the OSP (Office of the Special Prosecutor), a Cook County grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Jussie Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime,” Webb said.
Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, a representative for the Osundairo brothers, shared a statement with CNN about the charges.”As stated before, they are fully committed to the public knowing the truth about what occurred on January 29, 2019,” she said. “The Osundairo brothers will continue to cooperate with that process and they thank the Special Prosecutor’s office for their tireless work in seeing that justice was administered.”