Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has plead not guilty to restored charges that accuse him of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself and falsely reporting it to police.
The 37-year-old entered a Chicago courthouse Monday wearing sunglasses and sporting a beard. He faces six counts of felony disorderly conduct. Smollett was initially charged shortly after he said he was attacked in downtown Chicago last year.
But the county prosecutor's office dropped the charges weeks later, angering police and city officials.
A special prosecutor tasked with looking into the decision recently announced that Smollett had been indicted for a second time.
Smollett told police he was beaten in January 2019 by two men who looped a noose around his neck. Chicago police said it was staged, and Smollett was charged with making a false report.
The city of Chicago is also in a legal battle with Smollett over $130,000 in costs the city says the actor owes for the police investigation of his claims. Smollett's attorney's are counter-suing and have requested documents related to the firing of a former police superintendent.