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Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty during his arraignment hearing on charges of disorderly conduct stemming from a hate crime hoax in Chicago.

Smollett, 37, pleaded not guilty to six felony counts of disorderly conduct at the Cook County Courthouse on Monday.

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Abel Osundairo and Ola Osundairo, the two Nigerian brothers who say Smollett paid them to attack him, also appeared in court with their attorney Gloria Schmidt.

"They are here because they want the truth to be told," Schmidt told reporters. The brothers will testify at Smollett's trial.

Smollett lost his job on Fox TV's Empire after he staged a hate crime and blamed Trump supporters for assaulting him, tying a noose around his neck and pouring bleach on him.

A judge set Smollett's next hearing for March 18. He faces 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

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Jussie Smollett's lawyer believes "politics" is to blame for the actor's indictment in Chicago on Tuesday.

The former 'Empire' star was indicted on charges of making false reports to the Chicago Police Department following a hate-crime hoax last year.

The 37-year-old disgraced actor is facing 6 new charges of disorderly conduct by special prosecutor Dan Webb, who was appointed to investigate why State Attorney Kim Foxx's initial 16-count felony indictment against Smollett was dropped.

Smollett's lawyer, Tina Glandian, released a statement criticizing the indictment on Tuesday, WENN.com reported.

"After more than five months of investigation, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has not found any evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever related to the dismissal of the charges against Mr. Smollett," she said.

Glandian defended Kim Foxx's action, saying "the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence."

She suggested that the new charges were timed to disrupt Foxx's reelection as Illinois state prosecutor.

"The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State's Attorney election is clearly all about politics, not justice," Glandian said.

Smollett is due back in court on February 24, according to local news channel Fox32.

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Actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted again in Chicago in connection with an alleged attack outside his high-rise condo in Streeterville in January 2019.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb indicted the former Empire actor on 6 charges of disorderly conduct, the Cook County Clerk's Office confirmed Tuesday.

Smollett said two Trump supporters ambushed him on a frigid night while on his way to a Subway restaurant for a late night sandwich.

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He said the men yelled racist slurs at him and choked him with a noose while pouring bleach on him. Police were immediately skeptical of Smollett's story.

Smollett was originally charged with 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about the alleged attack.

Prosecutors say Smollett orchestrated the attack with the help of two brothers, Abel and Abimbola Osundairo, who then fled to their native Nigeria. Federal agents arrested them when they returned to Chicago. The charges against the brothers were later dropped.

All charges were dropped against Smollett in February 2019 in exchange for community service and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond payment.

But a police union accused the Cook County prosecutor's office of misconduct.

Webb was appointed as special prosecutor to review State's Attorney Kim Foxx's actions in the case. Foxx is currently running for reelection as Illinois district Attorney.

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Photo: Fox TV

Jussie Smollett may return for Empire's finale cliffhanger as the soap opera musical comes to an end in early 2020.

According to WENN.com, the disgraced actor could return for the sixth and final season cliffhanger if the showrunner gets his way.

Jussie's potential return to Empire for the finale is "being discussed", the showrunner has revealed.

The 36-year-old actor played openly homosexual singer/songwriter Jamal Lyon on the series. He is pictured above in a scene from Empire season 5.

Jussie was written out of the final two episodes of season 5 after he was arrested in Chicago for filing a false police report alleging he was the victim of a hate crime perpetrated by Trump supporters.

Empire producer Brett Mahoney told TV Line that the effeminate actor could be making a comeback as the series draws to a close.

"It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part of without seeing him," Mahoney said. "It's fair to say it's being discussed, but there's no plan as of yet to bring him back. There's been no decision made."

Jussie's former co-star Vivica A. Fox also suggested he could be returning to the series.

Speaking about creator Lee Daniels' decision to cut Jussie out of Empire, Vivica told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live last month: "That was tough. He's family. He's always gonna be family. Love him to death. But there was just too much drama surrounding the circumstances."

Vivica added: "I love him. And who knows? Don't count him out. Y'all may see him."

When Andy asked "On Empire?", the screen star responded with a coy fluttering of her eyelashes.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, left, sparked controversy after she fired Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson for "lying" about falling asleep behind the wheel of his car.

Lightfoot announced Johnson's termination during a press conference on Monday, Dec. 2. Johnson, who was promoted to Superintendent in 2016, had been on the police force for 31 years. He was just weeks away from retirement.

The harsh action was taken after Johnson reportedly lied to investigators after he was found slumped over the wheel of his car around 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 17. Johnson was not far from home when he fell asleep at a stop sign.

The officer who responded to the scene did not test Johnson for alcohol intoxication. Johnson told the officer that he was on his way home after dining with friends and he pulled over because he felt tired.

Mayor Lightfoot said Johnson later told her that he'd had a "few drinks" at dinner that night and that the alcohol reacted with blood pressure medication he had taken.

The mayor said Johnson lied to her and investigators about where he'd been and what he had been doing. She said surveillance footage proved Johnson had been deliberately "misleading" investigators.

Johnson's supporters were concerned that he might lose his pension and other benefits, but CBS reports he will not lose it unless he is convicted of a felony.

Late Monday night, after the public backlash to Johnson's termination, Lightfoot defended her actions, saying, "It has become clear that Mr. Johnson engaged in a series of ethical lapses that are intolerable."

She refused to release details, saying she wanted to protect his wife and three children, but she said his behavior amounted to conduct that was "unbecoming" of his position.

CBS Boston reported Monday night that the 60-year-old police chief had been drinking with a woman who was not his wife before he was found asleep in his car.

Johnson and his wife, Junior Officer Lt. Nakia Fenner, 43, (pictured below, 2nd from right) were married in 2017.

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In early November Johnson announced his intention to retire at the end of the year during a news conference with the newly-elected mayor and his family at police headquarters.

"Had I known all the facts at the time, I would have relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there," Mayor Lightfoot said.

Photos taken of Lightfoot at Johnson's press conference show her glaring at Johnson and giving him dirty looks.

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Sources say that Lightfoot, a 57-year-old male-identified lesbian, had it in for Johnson and his police department after they investigated openly homosexual Empire actor Jussie Smollet for lying about a racial attack in January 2019. Smollett, 36, was arrested in March for filing a false police report.

Johnson is named personally in a lawsuit filed by Smollett against the city of Chicago last month. Smollett filed the countersuit after the city sued him, indicating it wanted over $390,000 plus "further relief as this Court deems just and equitable" for wasting the police department's time and resources investigating his lies.

 

This post was edited to correct Eddie Johnson's age.

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Jussie Smollett is reportedly suicidal after his character, Jamal Lyon, was axed from Fox TV’s soap opera Empire next season. Variety.com reports Empire was renewed at the final hour on Tuesday. 20th Century Fox executives negotiated a contract extension for Smollett, but decided not to bring his character back next season.

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Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot made history as Chicago's first ever Black female and openly lesbian mayor on Tuesday night.

By rejecting establishment mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle, Chicago residents sent a clear signal that they are fed up with decades of corruption.

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Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed their outrage over a "brokered deal" that resulted in the dismissal of 16 felony charges against actor Jussie Smollett on Tuesday.

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