Jussie Smollett Absent from ‘Empire’ TV Promo After Hoax Attack

Jussie Smollett Absent from ‘Empire’ TV Promo After Hoax Attack

Jussie Smollett Absent from ‘Empire’ TV Promo After Hoax Attack

Wearing a navy dress coat and suit, the embattled Empire star entered a Chicago court on Thursday, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of filing a false police report.

Actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 14, 2019.

We'll continue to keep you updated as we're sure we'll be hearing more about the case ahead of his upcoming April court date.

With lawyers and family in the Cook County courthouse, Smollett's attorney, Tina Glandian expectedly plead "not guilty" for the subdued actor to the 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct. The charges all are Class 4 felonies, the lowest category of felony offense under IL law.

One of Smollett's attorneys, Mark Geragos, responded to the indictment in a statement to ET. Police say Smollett also told detectives the attackers also yelled he was in "MAGA country", an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan that some Trump critics have decried as racist and discriminatory.

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"The fact of an indictment was not unexpected", the statement read.

In a searing live press conference on that same day, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said it was "shameful' what Smollett allegedly try to pull off and accused him of perpetuating a "hoax".

- Smollett tells police he was attacked by two masked men in downtown Chicago while walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at 2 a.m.

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense", Smollett's attorneys said in February. The indictment states, "Jussie Smollett knew that at the time ... there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed".

Smollett found fame on Fox musical drama Empire, but was removed from the last two episodes of the show's latest season amid the controversy. Her office says the decision was made "out of an abundance of caution.to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case".

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