Empire actor Jussie Smollett was arraigned on Thursday on a 16-count indictment of lying to police about being the victim of a hate crime. Smollett pleaded not guilty, according to USA Today. His attorney Tina Glandian entered the plea.
Chicago police say Smollett staged a racist, homophobic attack on himself. Smollett said he was attacked in downtown Chicago by two white men in ski masks. The actor said the men told him “this is MAGA country,” tied a rope around his neck, and poured bleach on him. Police say the attack was a hoax.
Earlier this week, Smollett appeared in court for a hearing to determine if cameras would be allowed inside the courtroom for his upcoming trial. Smollett’s next court date is set for April 17.