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Jussie Smollett will be seeing the inside of the courtroom plenty in the near future as he contends with the allegations that the attack he suffered in Chicago was staged. After being slapped with 16 counts of felony charges, the Empire actor entered a not guilty plea.
The 36-year-old “Empire” actor appeared serious and quiet as his lawyer, Tina Glandian, entered the plea on his behalf.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Steven Watkins, who was assigned to be the trial judge, granted Smollett’s request to be allowed to travel to New York and California to meet his lawyers.
But the judge told Smollett he must give the court at least 48 hours’ notice before leaving Illinois while he is free on bail — and warned him to be present and on time for all of his upcoming court dates.
Smollett’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 17.
Despite the fact that Smollett’s story has been doubted by both police and other onlookers, the outlet reports that supporters of the actor stood outside the court to say they believe his side of the story.