Jussie Smollett has officially entered a plea of not guilty in his case of the alleged staged attack in Chicago.
On Thursday, the “Empire” actor appeared in court to plead “not guilty” to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct. The charges stemmed from the January 29 incident, in which Smollett claimed to be beaten by two men in a racial and homophobic attack.
Though Chicago police initially considered the incident a “potential hate crime,” further investigation led police to believe Smollett staged the entire attack. By February 21, the actor was arrested and charged, as Chicago Police Superintendent detailed the evidence and allegations in a press conference – calling the entire ordeal a “hoax.”
Eventually, Smollett was slapped with a dozen additional charges before he finally pleaded not guilty on Thursday.
In the meantime, Smollett’s travel restrictions have been expanded until his next hearing on April 17. For now, he’ll be able to travel freely between L.A. and NYC to talk to his lawyers about the case.