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'Empire' actor Smollett pleads not guilty to lying about Chicago attack

'Empire' actor Smollett pleads not guilty to lying about Chicago attackWearing a navy suit and dress coat, Smollett, 36, appeared serious and quiet standing next to his attorneys as Cook County Circuit Court Judge Steven Watkins was assigned to his case. In a 16-count indictment returned by a grand jury last Thursday, Smollett, who is black, openly gay and plays a gay musician on Fox’s hip-hop drama, was charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct alleging he gave false accounts of an attack on him to police investigators. Smollett was previously charged last month with felony disorderly conduct for making a false report after he told police he was attacked in January by masked supporters of President Donald Trump who beat him, slung a noose round his neck and poured a liquid chemical on him while shouting racist and homophobic slurs.

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