Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been given no leeway by the Judge overseeing his case, with the 36-year-old being ordered to attend each day of his trial.

Smollett who appeared in the Cook County circuit court in Chicago where he pleaded not guilty to 16 charges of lying to the police about an allegedly fake hate crime attack, is currently out on $100,000 bail.

Smollett, who appeared confident while pleading not guilty arrived at the court escorted by personal bodyguards and members of his family.


Judge Steven Watkins, was quick to lay down the law telling Smollett that he must “be in court each and every court date” and that he could be arrested if he failed to arrive on time.

The next hearing is currently set for the 17th of April 2019, and it is not yet known if the trial will be televised in full, with Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, welcoming the possibility.

“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,” she said.

Smollett is currently facing up to 38-years in jail for allegedly lying to police about an alleged hoax hate crime attack.

While initially only charged on one count of disorderly conduct, Smollett was later charged with an updated 16 counts, with each holding a penalty of up to 3 years in jail and a fine of $25,000.