Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Monday to restored charges that accuse him of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself last year in Chicago and falsely reporting to police that the phony attack was real. His lawyer, Tina Glandian, entered the not guilty pleas on his behalf to six counts of felony disorderly conduct. She also told Judge James B. Linn that she has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to halt the case. A somber looking Smollett, 37, entered the Cook County courthouse wearing sunglasses and sporting a beard, flanked by his legal team and surrounded by reporters. "He's obviously frustrated to be dragged through this process again," Glandian told reporters after the hearing, calling the revived prosecution "an ordeal" for Smollett.
Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of the charge in the same courthouse last year, just weeks before Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office abruptly announced it was dismissing the case, angering police and City Hall. Smollett's attorneys also have filed a motion in Cook County court arguing that the refiling of charges violated protections against being charged twice for the same crime, known as double jeopardy. Prosecutors have said double jeopardy does not apply because Smollett was not prosecuted last year. Linn on Monday set a $20,000 personal recognizance bond, which means Smollett does not have to pay any of it, reports the AP. He was not taken into custody. His next court date is March 18.
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