Chicago Tribune

Judge scolds Jussie Smollett over allegations he staged attack, sets bail at $100,000

CHICAGO - A Cook County judge scolded actor Jussie Smollett as he appeared in court charged with falsely claiming that two men called him slurs and placed a noose around his neck in downtown Chicago last month.

"The most vile and despicable part of it, if it's true, is the noose," said Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr., who is black. "That symbol conjures up such evil in this country's history."

While noting that Smollett is presumed innocent, Lyke said he could not reasonably let Smollett go on his own recognizance, calling the allegations "utterly outrageous" if true. He set bail at $100,000.

Smollett stood straight before the packed courtroom, where reporters crowded into benches across the aisle from Smollett's silent family members.

The actor gave slight nods as Assistant State's Attorney Risa Lanier repeated what Smollett told police that night: that he was attacked by two masked men who

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