Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty To New Charges In Hate Crime Hoax Case
UPDATE: 4:34 p.m. EDT -- Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Monday to new charges of staging a homophobic and racist attack last year, according to The Washington Post.
Smollett was granted a recognizance bond, which doesn’t require him to post money to be released ahead of trial. Smollett’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case against on double jeopardy grounds.
According to CBS, Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, said, “One of the protections that the double jeopardy clause provides is not to punish somebody twice for the same offense. Previously he did forfeit his bond, in the amount of $10,000. That in essence was a punishment stemming from the criminal proceedings, and therefore trying to punish him again a second time around is not permitted under the double jeopardy clause. You don’t just get a do over."
The actor and singer did not talk to reporters.
Smollett will return to court on March 18.
It has been a year since all charges against former Empire actor Jussie Smollett were dropped after police accused him of falsly claiming to be the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime. But the book is not closed on this particular case just yet.
Smollett will return to a Chicago courthouse on Monday, February 24th, to face a new six-count indictment related to his 2019 allegedly false report, according to The Chicago Sun Times. He will reportedly stand before the prosecution team led by the former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb.
Months after Smollett claimed that he had been beaten and forced to wear a noose around his neck, a police investigation alleged that the actor hired two of his acquaintances to stage the assault. He was booked into Cook County Jail but later posted a $100,000 bond.
The charges were subsequently dropped against Smollet by Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx.
While the reason for Foxx’s shocking decision to drop the charges were never made clear, she did offer this explanation to The New York Times: “Smollett’s alleged unstable actions have probably caused him more harm than any court-ordered penance could. Falsely reporting a hate crime is a dangerous and unlawful act, and Smollett was not exonerated of that in this case.”
RELATED: Jussie Smollett Is ‘Angered And Devastated’ Over New Accusations That He Staged His Hate Crime Attack
In addition to his six-count indictment, Smollett also faces a federal lawsuit from the city of Chicago to recover the $130,000 that was spent on investigating the original case.
Smollett’s attorneys Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian are also facing a defamation lawsuit filed by his alleged accomplices, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo. The two men, who are brothers, claim that Smollett paid them $3,500 to attack him.
Jussie Smollett has maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal. “I have been truthful and consistent on every level since day one,” he said in his last public statement. “I would be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time. Honestly one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history, and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t. Now I’d like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life. But make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere.”