Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to 16 Counts in Alleged Attack Hoax

Meaghan Darwish
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

UPDATED (3/14/2019):

On Thursday, March 14, actor Jussie Smollett entered a not guilty plea regarding the case which alleges he lied to police about a hate crime.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Smollett — who was indicted on 16 felony counts — is claiming innocence once again. More details are sure to arise as the proceedings continue.

Jussie Smollett Removed From Remaining 'Empire' Season 5 Episodes Following Arrest

Jussie Smollett Removed From Remaining 'Empire' Season 5 Episodes Following Arrest

Plus, the actor maintains his innocence in apology to the cast and crew.

ORIGINAL STORY (3/8/2019):

After weeks of back-and-forth and confusing details Empire's Jussie Smollett has officially been indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly filing a false police report about a hate crime.

The actor was charged with felony disorderly conduct and released on $100,000 bail back in February after his initial report was believed to be false. In January, Smollett claimed he was attacked on the streets of Chicago by two men who shouted pro-Trump rhetoric and racist and homophobic remarks before tying a noose around his neck and pouring an unknown liquid on him.

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Jussie Smollett Fallout Continues: Chicago PD Chief Speaks Out on GMA, Terrence Howard Reacts

The CPD's Eddie Johnson revealed there's 'a lot more evidence' that suggests the actor staged his reported hate crime.

After a few weeks of investigation, Chicago police determined Smollett's report to be false and was made in an effort to help his career and boost his Empire salary. Smollett's arrest quickly followed but the actor and his attorney vehemently deny that he had any part in orchestrating the event, maintaining he's a victim.

The suspects who were apprehended were quickly released after it was believed Smollett paid the brothers to stage the incident. Now, those two men are reportedly working with detectives as they build their case against Smollett.

Jussie Smollett's booking photo from February 21

Since his arrest and recent suspension from Empire, the actor has remained off the radar as he's due back in court on March 14 to address the disorderly conduct charge. Stay tuned for more as news about Smollett's case unfolds.