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According to an investigative report by the Chicago Tribune, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx was approached by a politically-connected lawyer close to Chicago's most prominent political families, the Obamas and the Emanuels, on behalf of the city's star resident, Jussie Smollett.

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Fox Television executives are probably rethinking their decision not to scrub all of actor Jussie Smollett's scenes from the 2nd half of Empire's season 5, which returned on March 13 - nearly a month after the disgraced co-lead star was arrested in Chicago for filing a false police report.

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Actor Jussie Smollett plead not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police investigators about an alleged hate crime. Smollett walked into Leighton Criminal Courthouse with his attorneys and bodyguard for his court appearance on March 14.

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For nearly 2 months, news organizations reported that a $3,500 check made out to two Chicago brothers by Jussie Smollett was payment for a hoax hate crime attack. But now the brothers confirm the check was in fact for a training program.

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Queen Latifah is standing by her pal Jussie Smollett as he faces accusations of paying 2 brothers to beat him up as part of a hate crime hoax.

The ex-Empire actor claimed he was the victim of a hate crime outside his Chicago, Illinois apartment on Jan. 29.

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