Jussie Smollett appears in court for hearing; Cameras allowed for future hearings

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Jussie Smollett made a court appearance on Tuesday in Chicago, to attend a hearing on whether or not cameras will be allowed to be present in the courtroom during his next scheduled court appearance.

The Empire actor arrived at the Cooks County court in a gray coat, which he wore over gray trousers, a white button-up shirt and a tie.

Smollett faces 16 counts of disorderly conduct tied to statements to police describing an attack by two men whom he claimed shouted homophobic and racist comments at the actor, who is black and openly gay.

The Chicago Police Department has told reporters that they believe Smollett staged the attack in order to draw attention to himself because he was dissatisfied with his salary at Empire.

Smollett's next hearing is set for 9 a.m. Thursday.

The new indictment in the case contains 16 similar counts: eight related to his interview with one police officer on the day of the purported attack and eight more stemming from his interview with another officer the same day.

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Both sides agreed to allowing cameras in the courtroom on Tuesday and Martin said the eventual trial judge will determine whether cameras will be allowed in the room during the trial.

Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, on the show which also stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard could be killed off or the role could be recast, Variety reports sources are saying. He has denied any involvement in orchestrating an attack.

Geragos said the indictment was designed, in part, "to distract from the internal investigation". The brothers were arrested on February 13 but then released without charges, with police saying they were no longer considered suspects.

Smollett, 36, claimed to police in January that he had been attacked in Chicago by two people who hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him and placed a rope around his neck.

Geragos also questioned why the Osundairo brothers were not indicted alongside Smollett. Smollett, who reportedly makes $100,000 per episode, was cut from the season's final two episodes.

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