More than a year after Jussie Smollett plead not guilty over renewed felony charges stemming from his alleged 2019 hate crime incident, the 39-year-old maintained his innocence in a Chicago hearing Wednesday 14th July.
The hearing had nothing to with the charges against Smollett, who is accused of lying to police when he reported that two masked men attacked him in downtown Chicago in January 2019. But because the media and the public were not allowed to attend the hearing that began in the morning and lasted well into the afternoon, it was not clear exactly what was being said in the courtroom.
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Referring to the legal proceedings as “dog and pony show” as he entered the courtroom, the former ‘Empire’ star addressed his ‘filing a false police report’ case again – this time to a judge who will determine the next steps regarding the fate of one of his lawyers. Smollett took part in a five-hour hearing to determine whether one of his attorneys, Nenye Uche, should be allowed to continue representing him in the case.
It should be noted the hearing had nothing to with the charges against Smollett, but was instead ordered by Cook County Judge James Linn to see if Uche had a conflict of interest after two key witnesses in the case – the brothers who were allegedly paid by Smollett to fake the attack – allege they spoke to him off-record. Uche has denied the accusation. Linn will announce his decision regarding the matter at a later date.