Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to Hate-Crime Hoax Charges

Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty on Thursday to over a dozen felony charges for allegedly staging a racially-motivated attack on himself and filing a false police report. The 36-year-old Empire actor, flanked by bodyguards and family members, wore sunglasses as he entered the courtroom before his lawyers entered his plea on the 16 counts against him. Cook County Judge Steven Gregory Watkins, who was assigned to his case on Thursday, also granted the actor permission to travel to Los Angeles and New York to meet with his legal team.

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