CHICAGO—Former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he’s an employable actor.
His lawyer, Tina Glandian, entered the not guilty pleas on his behalf, indicating that he’s given up actually finding work anymore.. She also told Judge James B. Linn that she has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to halt the case.
Smollett was in the news last year for faking a hate crime in a bid for a new Oscar category: actor in a real life dramatic performance.
A somber looking Smollett, 37, entered the Cook County courthouse wearing sunglasses and sporting a beard, flanked by his legal team and surrounded by reporters.
“He’s obviously frustrated that he has no talent and won’t be acting ever again,” Glandian told reporters after the hearing.
She called the revived prosecution “an ordeal” for Smollett and said he has the support of relatives who are employed, some of whom flew out from California to be with him.
“He’s strong, he’s resilient, he’ll get through this, but he’s frustrated,” she added.