Empire actor Jussie Smollett has pled not guilty to felony counts of disorderly conduct, according to the Associated Press. Chicago authorities handed down 16 felony indictments last week and accused Smollett of staging a hate crime against himself.
Smollett claimed he was attacked in Chicago on January 29 by two white men who shouted "This is MAGA country," tied a rope around his neck, and poured a substance on him. Two Nigerian men, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, were taken into police custody and later released without charge. Smollett was arrested on February 21 and accused of paying the two men to fake the attack.
Smollett's attornies have stated that the 16 felony indictments are “prosecutorial overkill.”