Jussie Smollett

Pleads Not Guilty

On 16-Count Indictment

3/14/2019 8:13 AM PDT

Breaking News

8:11 AM PT -- Jussie just pled not guilty to the 16-count indictment against him. He was advised he needs to be at every court date going forward, and is set to be back in court in mid-April.

In the meantime, he'll be allowed to travel to L.A. and NY for meetings with his lawyers. He's gotta notify the court 48 hours in advance before going to either location, and also needs to check back in within 24 hours when he returns to Chicago.

Jussie Smollett just showed up to court with the same confidence he had the other day -- the big difference now ... this appearance actually matters, 'cause he's being arraigned.

The "Empire" star once again strutted his way into a Cook County courthouse Thursday with his back straight and his head held high ... just like he did on Tuesday when he showed up for a procedural hearing he technically didn't need to attend. 

He's expected to enter a plea one way or another at his arraignment. 

As we reported ... a grand jury handed down the whopping 16-count indictment last week nearly two weeks after Jussie was arrested and booked for allegedly filing a false police report. Jussie's attorney, Mark Geragos, called the indictment "overkill."

Regardless of how Jussie pleads ... he may very well have more than his own fate in his hands. Folks working on "Empire" feel like the future of the show will very much be tied to how things shake out for him in court, and could possibly torpedo the series at large.

Originally Published -- 7:26 AM PT



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