He appeared in court with his legal team, bodyguards and family members, including his sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell.
Smollett was originally charged last year after he was accused of lying to police about being attacked. Those charges were dropped. But this month new charges came following an investigation by special prosecutor Dan K. Webb, who was assigned in August to the case.
On Monday, Smollett’s lawyer Tina Glandian gave Judge James B. Linn the not-guilty pleas, and told him that she will not be negotiating a plea deal with Webb.
Glandian also said she filed an emergency petition with the Illinois Supreme Court to get the case stopped.
Additionally, Smollett’s legal team filed documents to have the case thrown out entirely, because they said it violates the double-jeopardy law.
Smollett was released on a recognizance bond during the 10-minute hearing, and he’s due back in court on March 18.
The two brothers Illinois prosecutors say Smollett hired to assault him, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, also were in the courtroom Monday. Their lawyer Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez said they were there to “support the process.”
In January 2019, Smollett, who’s gay and black, said two men beat him up while they yelled racial and homophobic slurs. He also said they placed a noose around his neck and poured a liquid substance on him, but authorities say the actor wasn’t a victim of a random attack as he’d claimed.
After it seemed that police believed him, Smollett was accused of lying about it all, and in March he was hit with a 16-count indictment of felony disorderly conduct. But the charges were dropped later that month, which caused outrage among many.
Then months later, Judge Michael Toomin appointed a special prosecutor to look into the case. Smollett’s legal team said Monday that Toomin overstepped his legal boundaries when he did so.