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Actor Jussie Smollett walks into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Cameras will be allowed at Jussie Smollett’s next hearing

SHARE Cameras will be allowed at Jussie Smollett’s next hearing
SHARE Cameras will be allowed at Jussie Smollett’s next hearing

Cameras will be allowed in the courtroom for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s next hearing for filing a false police report in an alleged hate crime hoax.

Chief Cook County Criminal Courts Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. on Tuesday said he will allow one still camera and one video camera at the hearing Thursday.

He noted that he will also assign the case to another judge and that judge will determine whether cameras will be allowed in future hearings.

One of Smollett’s attorneys, Tina Glandian, said she didn’t have any objections to media access because “much of the leaked information is actually demonstrably false.”

“There has been a lot of misinformation in this case that has been presented as fact and evidence against Mr. Smollett which is demonstrably false,” Glandian later told reporters. “We welcome cameras in the courtroom so that the public and the media can see the actual evidence — and what we believe is actually going to be the lack of evidence — against Mr. Smollett and we look forward to complete transparency and the truth coming out.”

Smollett was in court for the hearing Tuesday, the first time since his arrest.

The “Empire” actor requested permission to leave the state this month to visit California, where his attorney, Mark Geragos, is based. Glandian is a lawyer from Geragos’ firm.

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. Smollett said he was walking home from a 2 a.m. trip to a Subway restaurant near his Streeterville apartment on Jan. 29, when his attackers hit him and draped a thin rope noose around his neck.

Police pieced together surveillance camera footage that led them to Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo and his brother, Abindola “Abel” Osundairo, bodybuilding brothers who had worked with Smollett as extras on “Empire” and as a fitness coach. But after two days in custody as suspects in the attack, the brothers told police Smollett planned the fake attack and paid them $3,500 to carry it out. After an investigation that lasted longer than three weeks, prosecutors charged Smollett with making a false report.

The actor left court after his bond hearing in February after posting $100,000 and headed to an “Empire” shoot. The next day, the show’s producers announced that Smollett’s character had been written off the final two episodes of the show.

The fifth season of “Empire” premieres on Wednesday.

TIMELINE: The Jussie Smollett investigation

Actor Jussie Smollett walks into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Actor Jussie Smollett walks into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

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