After Smollett pleaded not guilty, Cook County Judge Steven Watkins granted him permission to travel to NY and California to consult with his attorneys, if he provides 48 hours notice to the court's pretrial services office. Smollett's legal team entered the plea Thursday at a courthouse in Chicago, while the Empire actor and singer looked on silently. Several people could be heard chanting "We are here today to support black people", "We are here today to support LGBTQ people" and "Justice for Jussie" as the actor arrived and walked into the building wearing a dark gray coat and sunglasses. When Watkins warned him to show up on time for each future court hearing or risk jail time, Smollett replied, "Yes, your honor".
Police said, in reality, Smollett had paid Ola and Abel Osundairo to stage the attack. According to a tweet from Chicago's CBS affiliate, Smollett will be allowed to travel to NY and Los Angeles without asking the court permission as he awaits trial.
In February, Smollett was charged with a felony of disorderly conduct and was released on $100,000 bail.
"There has been a lot of misinformation in this case that has been presented as fact and evidence against Mr. Smollett, which is demonstrably false", said Tina Glandian, the attorney for the actor.More news: Ferrari in better shape than 2018: Vettel
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Prosecutors allege that Smollett, who is black and gay, staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted to promote his career. Last week, a grand jury indicted Smollett on 16 felony counts of lying to authorities - eight counts from what he told the officer who responded to the report of the attack and eight from what he later told a detective about being the victim of a brutal racist and homophobic beating by two masked men in downtown Chicago back in January.
CBS 2's Charlie De Mar has reported Smollett also directed the brothers to buy the noose at a hardware store and the hat and masks at a store in Uptown.
The brothers are not facing charges.
In a searing live press conference on that same day, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said it was "shameful' what Smollett allegedly try to pull off and accused him of perpetuating a "hoax".