Smollett remained silent as he entered the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago wearing a suit and sunglasses. Some of his siblings were present to support him, and sat near the back of the courtroom.
Smollett’s attorney entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the actor, who stood next to his attorney with his hands behind his back. Smollett looked straight ahead and never looked around.
The Empire star will be allowed to travel to New York and Los Angeles without asking court for permission. His next court date is set for April 17.
Smollett also made a court appearance on Tuesday to attend a hearing on whether cameras would be allowed at his hearing today, which the judge did in fact end up allowing.The actor's legal team said they welcomed cameras as a counter to what they called misinformation being leaked to the media. A source told ET at the time that Smollett chose to come to court on Tuesday -- though he wasn't required to -- because he wanted to be as transparent as possible, and that he looks forward to the evidence being presented in court.
Not surprisingly, Smollett's first episode back had a lot of strong reaction on Twitter, with many admitting that it was hard to watch Smollett play his character Jamal without thinking about his real-life legal troubles.
Smollett was arrested on Feb. 21 after being charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report in which he claimed he was the victim of a hate crime. When reporting the January attack, Smollett claimed that he was assaulted by two masked men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, poured what he believed was bleach over him and put a noose around his neck.
But in a press conference following Smollett's arrest, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department Eddie T. Johnson claimed that the actor staged his alleged attack to promote his career, and because he was "dissatisfied" with his Empire salary.
"As far as we can tell, the scratching and bruising that you saw on his face were most likely self-inflicted," Johnson alleged. " ... Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career."
Smollett, 36, is now facing 16 felony counts. The counts focus on allegedly false statements made to two different Chicago Police officers.
"Jussie Smollett knew that at the time of this transmission there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed," the indictment states.
One of Smollett's attorneys, Mark Geragos, responded to the indictment in a statement to ET.
"The fact of an indictment was not unexpected," the statement read. "We knew that there is no way they would expose their evidence to a public airing and subject their witnesses to cross-examination. What is unexpected, however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie. 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. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption."
Meanwhile, following the news of his indictment, Chief Communications Officer of the Chicago Police Department Anthony Guglielmi tweeted: " ... Allegations against Mr. Smollett are shameful & if proven, they are an affront to the people of Chicago who embraced him as a neighbor & respected him as a role model. We stand behind the work of detectives & refer any comment on indictment to prosecutors."
Smollett has maintained that he is a victim and denied all allegations that he staged the incident.
Tuesday, March 19 2019 6:39 PM EDT2019-03-19 22:39:24 GMT
By Scott Baumgartner, Entertainment Tonight Cardi B is heading to the big screen! On Tuesday, STX Entertainment announced that the “Be Careful” rapper will have a role in the upcoming feature film Hustlers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is an adaptation of the New York Magazine article "Hustlers at Scores," which tells the story of a group of strippers in New York who devised a plan to steal thousands from their wealthy Wall Street clientele. But Cardi is hardly the...
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Tuesday, March 19 2019 4:59 PM EDT2019-03-19 20:59:24 GMT
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Tuesday, March 19 2019 4:59 PM EDT2019-03-19 20:59:22 GMT
By Leena Tailor, Entertainment Tonight While some may wake up the morning after their cousin’s wedding tired, hungover or wondering where they left their phone, Lady Kitty Spencer had a whole other level of confusion the morning after her cousin, Prince Harry’s, wedding to Meghan Markle last May. The 28-year-old model -- who is the daughter of the late Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer -- found herself in the spotlight as she arrived at St. George’s Chapel in a floral green d...
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Tuesday, March 19 2019 4:39 PM EDT2019-03-19 20:39:27 GMT
By Philiana Ng, Entertainment TonightClick here to watch video. Have a drink with your new pals from NBC's bar comedy, Abby's. Filmed outdoors in front of a live studio audience, Abby's centers on an unlicensed San Diego backyard bar run by Abby (Parks and Recreation's Natalie Morales) where locals congregate to find camaraderie and sanctuary. But at Abby's, patrons must abide by a specific set of rules: No cell phones are allowed. Earning a seat at the bar takes time to rise through...
Have a drink with your new pals from NBC's bar comedy, Abby's.
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Tuesday, March 19 2019 4:39 PM EDT2019-03-19 20:39:22 GMT
By Jennifer Drysdale, Entertainment Tonight "I just need to go back to my own self for a minute," Patricia Arquette jokes, leaning over the side of a low-set leather couch at a hotel bar in Pasadena, California, in early February. The 50-year-old actress is promoting her new true-crime anthology series, Hulu's The Act, just two days after filming on the eight-episode series wrapped in Georgia. Arquette plays Dee Dee Blanchard in the drama series, a woman with Munchausen syndrome by ...
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Tuesday, March 19 2019 3:59 PM EDT2019-03-19 19:59:24 GMT
By Antoinette Bueno, Entertainment Tonight David Henrie is officially a father! The 29-year-old former Disney Channel star and his wife, Maria Cahill, welcomed their first child, daughter Pia, on Tuesday, ET has exclusively learned. Pia was born in Los Angeles, and weighed in at 7 lbs., 6 oz. Last week, Henrie exclusively talked to ET about the name they had chosen for their baby girl, which means "loving" in Latin. "It's been six decades since there's been a Henrie girl, so we are...
Tuesday, March 19 2019 3:39 PM EDT2019-03-19 19:39:24 GMT
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Tuesday, March 19 2019 2:59 PM EDT2019-03-19 18:59:22 GMT
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Wendy Williams revealed she's living in a sober house during Tuesday's episode of The Wendy Williams Show, after previously being candid about her struggles with drug addiction.