Empire actor Jussie Smollett has pleaded not responsible to costs of mendacity to police about being the sufferer of a racist and homophobic assault.
The 36-year-old’s lawyer entered the plea on his behalf throughout a courtroom look in Chicago.
Prosecutors allege that Smollett, who’s black and brazenly homosexual, employed two males to assist stage an assault on him in downtown Chicago within the early hours of 29 January.
He instructed detectives that two masked males beat him whereas hurling racist and homophobic slurs, and that they poured an unknown substance on him earlier than hanging a noose round his neck, police say.
Officers initially investigated the incident as a hate crime however, police sources on the time have been reported as saying the assault had been a hoax.
A grand jury charged Smollett on 16 felony counts regarding the submitting of a false police report earlier in March. Every rely carries a most penalty of three years in jail and a $25,000 advantageous.
They got here after an preliminary cost on 20 February, of 1 rely of disorderly conduct for submitting a false police report.
Smollett was dropped from Empire by Fox after he was arrested.
He has denied staging the assault and maintains his innocence. He’s subsequent on account of seem in courtroom on April 17.