CHICAGO (CBS) — Thanks to a ruling from a judge, everyone will be able to see “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in court facing criminal charges.
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Smollett did not need to be in court for Tuesday’s hearing, but he chose to be there standing before the judge with his legal team in what several defense attorneys not connected to the case referred to as a routine hearing.
The hearing comes after a grand jury indicted the actor on 16 counts last week, accusing him of falsifying a police report and lying to police.
Once inside, Smollett quietly led a team of family, friends and attorneys through the courthouse.
The routine hearing lasted just minutes. The judge ruled to allow cameras inside the courtroom at Smollett’s next hearing later this week.
“We welcome cameras in the courtroom, so the public can see and media can see actual evidence and what we believe is going to actually be the lack of evidence against Mr. Smollett,” Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian said following the hearing.READ MORE: Northshore Clinical Labs Under Investigation For Misconduct; Many Never Receiving Their Results
Smollett and his team slipped out of the building while Glandian spoke.
“There has been a lot of misinformation in this case that has been presented as fact and evidence against Mr. Smollett that is demonstrably false,” she said.
Smollett is accused of hiring brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo to stage a racist and homophobic attack on him Jan. 29.
Smollett allegedly ordered the brothers to buy supplies for the hoax hours before the incident including face masks, gloves and a red hat. All this was captured on surveillance video first shown on CBS 2.
Police say Smollett was unhappy with his salary on the show. They say he first sent a threatening letter to himself, and when that didn’t get enough attention, he allegedly staged the attack with the brothers.
“We look forward to complete transparency and the truth coming out,” Glandian said.MORE NEWS: A 16-Year-Old & A 27-Year-old Are Charged In Connection With Shooting Death Of 8-Year-Old Melissa Ortega
Power attorney mark Geragos is expected to be in court with Smollett Thursday. A judge is also expected to be assigned, and that judge will then have the power to rule if media will be allowed inside the courtroom for future proceedings. Smollett will presumably enter a plea and be assigned a judge.