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Former Empire Actor,Jussie Smollet, Pleads Not Guilty Over New Charges

Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Monday to restored charges that accuse him of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself last year in Chicago and falsely reporting to police that the phony attack was real.

Mr. Smollett, 37, appeared in court two weeks after a special prosecutor, Dan K. Webb, announced that a grand jury had indicted Mr. Smollett on nearly identical charges that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped 11 months ago.

Mr. Smollett’s lawyer, Tina Glandian, entered a plea of not guilty as her client stood before the judge, hands clasped and with his black overcoat still on. The judge, James B. Linn of Cook County Circuit Court, allowed the actor to remain free, saying he was not a flight risk and rejecting prosecutors’ request for $10,000 bail. Mr. Smollett walked out without comment, his departure captured by a line of television cameras in the hallways outside the courtroom.

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