The hearing in Cook County Circuit Court began with Judge Steven Watkins being assigned to oversee the case, including the trial, if it reaches that point. When Watkins warned him to show up on time for each future court hearing or risk jail time, Smollett replied, "Yes, your honor".
The actor's plea comes just a month and a half after his original police report grabbed national attention. He scheduled the next hearing for 17 April.
Actor Jussie Smollett will appear in court Thursday for a second time this week after he was indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly staging a hate crime and filing a false police report.
His legal team said it welcomes cameras in court due to what it described as "misinformation" leaked to the media since he reported his attack in January.
Smollett is charged with lying to Chicago police about the January attack in the city's Streeterville neighborhood.
Chicago police eventually arrested Smollett on suspicion that he had faked the incident "to promote his career", saying at a news conference last month that he paid his would-be attackers - brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo - to carry it out. "And we look forward to complete transparency and the truth coming out". He claimed two masked men - one of them also wearing a red hat - shouted racist and homophobic slurs as they beat him, put a noose around his neck, and poured a chemical on him.
"As more evidence, such as text messages, phone records, social media records, bank records, surveillance video and the receipt from the purchase of the rope was obtained by investigators, the investigation shifted from a Hate Crime to a Disorderly Conduct investigation [against Smollett]", prosecutors explained in their bond proffer.
The brothers are not facing charges. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the two men implicated Smollett while under police interrogation, and that authorities had the check Smollett wrote them in payment to prove it.
Smollett has denied all the allegations.