Jussie Smollett, an actor in the popular movie Empire has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to Police Department about being a victim of racist and homophobic assault.
Smollett is a black man openly known as a gay. It has been said that it was Smollett himself who hired two men to help him stage an attack on him in downtown Chicago on the 29th of January.
Contrary to the position of the prosecutor, he had earlier told the detectives that two masked men beat him while hurling racist and homophobic slurs, and that they poured an unknown substance on him before hanging a noose around his neck, police say.
The Police Department described the incidence as a hate crime, but said the attack is a hoax after further investigation.
In a report by Sky News, “Smollett has denied staging the attack and maintains his innocence, with his lawyers previously saying that the indictment is “vindictive” and “prosecutorial overkill”.
Smollett is next due to appear in court on 17 April