Culture&Arts

Actor Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 counts of lying to Chicago police

Actor Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 counts of lying to Chicago police

The Empire actor arrived at the Cooks County court in a gray coat, which he wore over gray trousers, a white button-up shirt and a tie. However, he's adamant that he's proven innocent and he plans on being active in his defense throughout the trial.

Jussie Smollett states he is telling the truth and Mark Geragos represents him.

In the wake of the 16-count grand jury indictment against actor Jussie Smollett over allegations he filed a false police report amid orchestrating a fake racist, homophobic attack against himself in January, production sources told TMZ that "Empire" cast and crew members are concerned the show won't be renewed for another season.

Smollett, who is black and openly gay, had told police he was attacked as he was walking home around 2 a.m. on January 29. Despite the additional chargers - the Empire actor was initially charged with one count of disorderly conduct on February 20 - Jussie, who is out on bail, maintained his innocence.

That judge has the power to potentially reverse or modify any decision made Tuesday about cameras in the courtroom.

If Jussie is found guilty, he faces a potential sentence of up to three years in prison.

Smollett's attorneys have called the charges "prosecutorial overkill" and say the actor maintains his innocence.

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He is expected to cut a plea deal with authorities, according to experts cited by ABC.

Police pieced together much of their evidence by reviewing footage from about 55 police and private surveillance cameras showing the brothers' movements before and after the attack.

The greatest threat to Jussie Smollett's defense may ultimately be the Osundairo Brothers who are cooperating with prosecutors and say that Jussie Smollett allegedly hired them for the attack and even practiced it.

The brothers were filmed buying supplies to use in the attack in a store in Chicago the day before it happened. She further added, however, that while the check read that it was specifically for training purposes, it was actually also a payment to the brothers to stage the attack.

'It would be such an easy narrative to see it that way but it's a very complicated relationship.

"They felt that their friend, someone who had helped them get some connections, would not put them in a situation where they're now being labeled as someone who would commit a hate crime", she said.

Since then he's been written off of the final episodes of the show that skyrocketed him to fame.