Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett is due to make an initial court appearance Monday, February 24, on a new set of charges alleging he lied about being the victim of a homophobic attack on Chicago in January 2019.
According to the Associated Press, Smollett, 37, is expected to plead not guilty to the six counts of felony disorderly conduct during Monday's hearing.
Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of the charge last year, just weeks before the Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office abruptly announced it was dismissing the case.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb announced the new charges earlier this month during a news conference.
Smollett's attorney, Tina Glandian, said in a statement on Tuesday following the announcement: "This indictment raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation that led to the renewed charges against Mr. Smollett, not the least of which is the use of the same CPD detectives who were part of the original investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett to conduct the current investigation, despite Mr. Smollett's pending civil claims against the City of Chicago and CPD officers for malicious prosecution. And one of the two witnesses who testified before the grand jury is the very same detective Mr. Smollett is currently suing for his role in the initial prosecution of him."
The statement continued: "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. Rather, the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence. 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."