Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo (Getty Images)

According to Variety, Jussie Smollett has entered a not guilty plea on the charges that he allegedly staged the January 29 attack in Chicago in which he claimed that two men yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. The police in Chicago later announced that they had come to believe that the attackers were hired by Smollett, possibly because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on Fox’s Empire and wanted attention, and Smollett was then charged with 16 felony counts related to every alleged lie he made to authorities about the incident—a move that his attorney referred to as “overkill.” Smollett and his team, meanwhile, have maintained his innocence, which is where today’s not guilty plea comes in.

If Smollett is convicted, Variety says he could be facing three years in prison, but there’s a chance he could just get probation. Either way, it seems like his future on Empire is a big question, since he was recently cut from the final episodes of the current season.

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