Empire actor Jussie Smollett has appeared in court today accused of falsely reporting he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
The 36-year-old has pleaded not guilty to a 16-count indictment.
Smollett arrived at a Chicago court wearing a navy suit and dress coat to face charges
The actor was previously charged last month with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly making a false report after he told police he was attacked in January by masked supporters of President Donald Trump who beat him, slung a noose round his neck and poured a liquid chemical on him while shouting racist and homophobic slurs.
Detectives investigated the incident as a hate crime but local news outlets cited police sources saying it was believed to be a hoax.
Each count that Smollett is accused of carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $25,000 (£18,880).
As Smollett made his way to the court room, about a dozen of his supporters gathered outside with signs and chanted his prosecution was unjust.
In a Good Morning America interview last month, Smollett said he was angry some people questioned his story and suggested racial bias may be behind the disbelief.
Following his charges, Smollett’s character has been cut from the hit TV show, as it was confirmed he had been written out.