Jussie Smollett’s case will now be televised at a Cook County court judge’s request.
Smollett appeared at a hearing on Tuesday at Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago, E! News reports. The Empire star donned a gray coat over gray pants paired with a white button-down shirt and tie. He reportedly showed that he was confident in his defense.
The hearing was regarding if his case will have cameras or if it will be a more private affair. Charlie De Mar of CBS Chicago confirmed via Twitter shortly after the hearing that cameras will be permitted during the case on Thursday. De Mar reports that this is something the Smollett team encourages, though it was reported that they were previously against it.
The 35-year-old actor and musician was indicted on 16 felony counts on Thursday. Smollett allegedly lied to police in February about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on January 29. Smollett reportedly accused two men of attacking and pouring bleach on him while he walked to a Subway in Chicago. Smollett was arrested and charged with one count of disorderly conduct after filing a false police report in late February. The actor was soon released on a $100,000 bond.
— ET Canada (@ETCanada) March 12, 2019
According to TMZ, Smollett’s appearance at Tuesday’s hearing was unwarranted. While he didn’t have to be there, he reportedly chose to attend because he wants to be an “active participant” in his defense case and is also tired of hiding from the public. Smollett has been laying low and avoiding the public as much as possible since the recent charges brought against him. His lawyer, Mark Geragos, released a statement shortly after his client was indicted. Geragos maintains his client’s innocence and is confident a jury will see the same.
“The fact of an indictment is not unexpected,” he said. “We knew that there is no way they would expose their evidence to a public airing and subject their witnesses to cross-examination. What is unexpected, however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie. This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie’s privacy in tampering with his medical records. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption.”