Jussie Smollett to appear in court on Thursday for arraignment

Jussie Smollett to appear in court on Thursday for arraignment

- The grand jury returns a 16-count indictment charging Smollett with filing a false police report.

The actor unexpectedly showed up at a procedural hearing on March 12 for his California-based primary defense lawyer Mark Geragos to enter the necessary paperwork to represent Smollett in the state of IL.

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.

"Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption", the lawyer, Mark Geragos, said last week. She told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the brothers agreed to help Smollett because of their friendship with him and the sense that he was helping them in their careers. Chicago police pushed back and accused Smollett of faking the letter as well.

"There has been a lot of misinformation in this case that has been presented as fact and evidence against Mr Smollett, which is demonstrably false", Glandian said on Tuesday.

The Empire actor made the plea in Chicago court Thursday morning.

Cameras were allowed in the courtroom when Judge Steven Watkins was assigned the case but it's up to the judge whether cameras will be allowed for the trial itself.

Smollett was allegedly attacked in January 2019 by two men wearing black ski masks. He said they used the phrase "MAGA country" during the alleged assault. They say he "has told the police everything" and "his story has never changed", disputing accusations levelled on social media that he had been less than co-operative and changed his story.

According to TVLine's recap, the episode, "My Fault Is Past", included a few notable parallels between Smolett and his character, Jamal. Police and prosecutors have said that attack was a hoax, but Smollett's attorneys said they want the public to see the evidence, or lack thereof, in the case.

Actor Jussie Smollett's legal drama failed to generate much new excitement for the Fox series he stars in.

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