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Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty On 16 Counts

As reported, the embattled ‘Empire’ actor was hit with a 16-count federal indictment related to what Chicago prosecutors are calling a “staged attack.”

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is asserting his innocence in his widely publisized disorderly conduct case.

As reported, the embattled ‘Empire’ actor was hit with a 16-count federal indictment related to what Chicago prosecutors are calling a “staged attack.”

However, the star – who plays Jamal Lyon on the hit FOX series – is sticking by his story.

Appearing at the Cook County courthouse this morning alongside his family and legal team, the 36-year-old formally entered a “not guilty” plea to all charges levied against him. He did so via lawyer Tina Glandian.

While it remains to be seen what Smollett’s defence strategy will be, it’s now apparent that he won’t be copping to suggestion that he faked the January beatdown – one he told cops was motivated by racism and homophobia.

He’ll have quite the mountain to climb, given that two brothers – one of whom is his personal trainer – claim he commissioned them to carry out the fakery. Yet, with their own credibility called into question, it’s anyone’s guess where this ever-evolving story will end up.

As reported, word is that his character may be recast or axed entirely from ‘Empire.’ He was already cut from the finale two episode’s of the show’s current season.

Jussie is due back in court on April 17th.

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