Monday, 25 March, 2019


Empire actor Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty at hearing

Tina Tchen | Sun Times files Tina Tchen | Sun Times files
Hannah Rogers | 14 March, 2019, 20:42

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty in a Chicago court on Thursday to new charges that he falsely reported to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault on a city street.

Lawyer Tina Glandian entered the plea on behalf of the 36-year-old actor during a hearing in Cook County Circuit Court after Judge Steven Watkins was assigned to oversee the case, including the trial. After an investigation by the Chicago Police, Smollett was found to have orchestrated the attack on himself, paying two brothers to jump him, pour bleach on him and tie a noose around his neck.

Presiding Criminal Court Judge LeRoy Martin allowed a camera in the courtroom for Thursday's arraignment, but it will be up to Watkins, Smollett's trial judge, to decide whether cameras will be in court for future hearings. Prosecutors allege that Smollett paid the men $3,500 to stage the attack, in an apparent bid for sympathy.

Smollett maintains his innocence. Chicago police say the money was for the staged attack, while Smollett claims it was for a five-week nutrition and workout program, as noted in the check's memo.

Smollett, who left the courthouse without speaking to reporters, is charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct.

The actor's plea comes just a month and a half after his original police report grabbed national attention.

Smollett's next hearing was scheduled for April 17. The actor's attorney Mark Geragos called the indictment "vindictive" and "prosecutorial overkill".

"We welcome cameras in the courtroom so that the public and the media can see the actual evidence and what we believe is the lack of evidence against Mr. Smollett, and we look forward to complete transparency and the truth coming out", she said at a news conference earlier this week.

Not much later, Chicago police revealed they had evidence pointing to the Hollywood star lying about the attack, accusing him of paying his "attackers", all so he could get more attention and score a bigger salary from Empire.

Fox cut Smollett's character in "Empire" after he was arrested.

The counts in the indictment obtained by CNN say Smollett gave statements to a Chicago police officer after the incident and to a detective.

"The fact of an indictment was not unexpected", the statement read.

The actor was arrested February 21, and police said at a media briefing that Smollett had faked the attack because he was "dissatisfied" with his salary for playing Jamal Lyon on "Empire". The decision was made to "avoid further disruption on set", producers said.

Recommended

loading...
...
  • Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool back as European force

    Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool back as European force

    On a night were Liverpool had many outstanding performers, Klopp also paid tribute to Sadio Mane , scorer of the first goal . Van Dijk has made a total of 37 club appearances this season, keeping a remarkable 19 clean sheets in that time.
    Verizon's 5G network is coming to Chicago and Minneapolis on April 11

    Verizon's 5G network is coming to Chicago and Minneapolis on April 11

    You should also know that Moto Mods are obviously only compatible with Motorola devices like the Moto Z3. The offer is available only on unlimited plans, which now start at $75 for one person without 5G.

    "Bomb Cyclone" Brings Snow, High Winds To US; 1,339 Flights Cancelled

    Jared Polis has activated the Colorado National Guard for search and rescue operations for stranded drivers in the blizzard. The storm could also cause flooding, as rain falls on accumulated snow and rivers clogged with ice begin to rise.
  • Brexit hangs in balance as parliament to vote on May's tweaked deal

    Brexit hangs in balance as parliament to vote on May's tweaked deal

    Sterling was about half a percent weaker at $1.307 after trading in a wide range over the course of the day. When it was her turn, May appealed to Parliament - where her own Conservative Party is bitterly divided.
    18,000 extra measles vaccines on way to Canterbury

    18,000 extra measles vaccines on way to Canterbury

    Data from 2018 shows that 10% of cases are between 6 and 15 years of age, whereas 15% are between 16 and 30 years of age. To combat the outbreak, around 3000 and a further 18000 doses of measles vaccine have been sent to Canterbury this week.
    Google's Gmail, Drive, YouTube and some other services suffer global outage

    Google's Gmail, Drive, YouTube and some other services suffer global outage

    As for Google Drive, while users could open Drive, downloading and uploading files has been an issue since a few hours now. Business Insider was not able to send an email to seek comment from Google. "We are continuing to investigate this issue".
  • Beto O'Rourke heading to Iowa, fueling speculation about White House bid

    Beto O'Rourke heading to Iowa, fueling speculation about White House bid

    O'Rourke, 46, rose to national prominence past year when he narrowly lost his bid to defeat Republican U.S. He says he's made a decision about seeking the presidency in 2020 and will make his plans known soon.
    Why Pelosi Declares She Is 'Not for Impeachment'

    Why Pelosi Declares She Is 'Not for Impeachment'

    Rashida Tlaib of MI was caught on tape telling supporters it was time to 'impeach the mother******,' in comments pointed at Trump. I'm going to give you some news right now because I haven't said this to any press person before". "Let's vote our convictions".
    Kim Jong-un Vows to Improve Living Conditions

    Kim Jong-un Vows to Improve Living Conditions

    In this March 2, 2019 photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves upon his arrival at Vietnam's Dong Dang railway station.
  • Bottas expects Mercedes to be chasing Ferrari in Melbourne

    Bottas expects Mercedes to be chasing Ferrari in Melbourne

    Formula One is changing its scoring system to award a point to the driver who sets the fastest race lap. So whoever is quickest this weekend, it doesn't really matter as long as it's close.
    Android 10 beta rolls out

    Android 10 beta rolls out

    Android Q will also let the users jump directly into another app for sharing content using a feature called Sharing Shortcuts. Fortunately for me, Android is smart, and manages to keep notifications it deems important bubbled up to the top of my list.
    Stephon Gilmore awed by Odell Beckham trade: 'Now that's crazy'

    Stephon Gilmore awed by Odell Beckham trade: 'Now that's crazy'

    In addition to a first-round pick and a third-round pick, the Browns also sent safety Jabrill Peppers to East Rutherford. In return for Vernon, the Giants brought back Kevin Zeitler , who will move in as the starting right guard.

SEGA Stops Selling Judgment Due to Cocaine Scandal SEGA Stops Selling Judgment Due to Cocaine Scandal Voice actor Pierre Taki plays the role of Kyohei Hamura , the captain of the Matsugane family in Judgment . Taki has admitted to violating the country's drug laws and using a small amount of cocaine .

Italy Begins To Enforce 'No Vaccines, No School' Policy After Deadline Expires Italy Begins To Enforce 'No Vaccines, No School' Policy After Deadline Expires Such a low rate adversely affects herd immunity that prevents the spread of infection. In Bologna, suspension letters were sent to the parents of 300 children.

Captain Marvel Joins The Fight In New Trailer For ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Captain Marvel Joins The Fight In New Trailer For ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Captain Marvel earned US$500 million (S$680 million) worldwide in less than a week while Wonder Woman raked in more than US$800 million.

Facebook faces criminal investigation over controversial data sharing deals Facebook faces criminal investigation over controversial data sharing deals Facebook had data-sharing arrangements with more than 150 companies , according to a December report in the New York Times . Facebook's stock declined 1.5 per cent in after hours trading on Wednesday.

Pakistan test-fires 'smart weapon' for PAF's JF-17 Thunder fighter jet Pakistan test-fires 'smart weapon' for PAF's JF-17 Thunder fighter jet An enormous explosion bursts out across the arid landscape as a powerful shockwave punches through the sky. Neither New Delhi , nor Islamabad has commented on the matter.

India to clash with Australia in 5th ODI on March 13 India to clash with Australia in 5th ODI on March 13 When he played, and even when he did not, MS Dhoni established how important he is, from behind the stumps and in front of it. The 3-2 result snaps a series losing streak in ODIs in India that dates back to a seven-game series in 2009.

Unlocked Galaxy Note9 receives Android Pie in the US Unlocked Galaxy Note9 receives Android Pie in the US Rest assured, we'll definitely let you know more about the phone when more information about it becomes available. It's a near certainty that the Galaxy Note 10 will feature Samsung's brand new Infinity-O display panels.

Gambino crime family boss Frank Cali shot, killed Gambino crime family boss Frank Cali shot, killed The Gambino crime family is one of New York's notorious "Five Families" and traces its origins to the early 20th century. It was a marked change from the Gotti era, which brought with its unnecessary attention and exposure.

Beto O’Rourke Confirms He’s Running For President Beto O’Rourke Confirms He’s Running For President In 2018 speculation began that Mr O'Rourke may decide to run after his campaign for the US Senate proved his worth. The 46-year-old Democrat was the US Senate nominee but narrowly lost to Republican rival Senator Ted Cruz in 2018.

Gun-toting Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrest actress Felicity Huffman over college admission scam Gun-toting Federal Bureau of Investigation  agents arrest actress Felicity Huffman over college admission scam William "Rick" Singer , front, founder of the Edge College & Career Network, exits federal court in Boston on March 12, 2019. Court documents allege that Felicity Huffman , 53, paid $15,000 to secure her eldest daughter a place at university.

All 157 people on board crashed Ethiopian plane confirmed dead All 157 people on board crashed Ethiopian plane confirmed dead Leaders of the United Nations, the U.N. refugee agency and the World Food Program announced that colleagues had been on the plane. State-owned Ethiopian Airlines is widely considered the best-managed airline in Africa and calls itself Africa's largest carrier.

China blocks proposal to brand Masood Azhar as global terrorist China blocks proposal to brand Masood Azhar as global terrorist The request was moved by Britain, France and the United States, while Germany also joined as co-sponsor of the move on Wednesday. In 2017 too, India indirectly identified China as the UNSC member responsible for blocking the consensus on listing Azhar.

President Trump has a theory about those Melania body-double rumors President Trump has a theory about those Melania body-double rumors Despite what Trump tweeted, people are still convinced there is a " Fake Melania ". The First Lady's spokesperson denied that she uses a body double in 2017.

Boeing's fixes to 737 MAX software delayed by government shutdown, report claims Boeing's fixes to 737 MAX software delayed by government shutdown, report claims A almost brand-new Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff in Ethiopia Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. The two black box flight recorders will be sent to Europe to be analysed, the airline said.

"I Couldn't Sleep At Night": California Governor Halts Death Penalty It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can't afford expensive legal representation. Because of a series of legal challenges to its method of lethal injection, California hasn't executed a prisoner since 2006.