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Actor Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges

Actor Jussie Smollett, center, departs after an initial court appearance at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Chicago on a new set of charges alleging that he lied to police about being targeted in a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago early last year. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Actor Jussie Smollett is pleading not guilty to new charges brought by a special prosecutor, alleging he staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself last year. The former “Empire” actor appeared before a judge for the first time in Chicago to be arraigned in the new case. Smollett is being charged with six counts of disorderly conduct for making four false reports to Chicago Police Department claiming he was the victim of a hate crime. Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian says the charges raise “serious questions about the integrity” of the special investigation. She argued the new charges come on the eve of a local election, making it clear it’s “all about politics not justice.”

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