Jussie Smollett – Judge Rules To Unseal Records In Actor’s Case
There are new developments in the Jussie Smollett case. On Thursday, a judge ruled to unseal documents in his case.
As previously reported, the Empire star’s records were sealed shortly after charges against him were dropped by prosecutors. Attorneys representing the media challenged the sealing of the records.
The 36-year-old actor faced several charges for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack. On January 29, 2019, Smollett told police that he was attacked outside his apartment building by two men in ski masks who called him racial and homophobic slurs, and said “This is MAGA country”, referencing President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” and used their hands, feet, and teeth as weapons in the assault.
According to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department, the two suspects then “poured an unknown liquid” on Smollett and put a noose around his neck. Smollett said that he fought them off. Smollett was treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital; not seriously injured, he was released “in good condition” later that morning.
The police were called after 2:30 am; when they arrived around 2:40 am, Smollett had a white rope around his neck. Smollett said that the attack may have been motivated by his criticism of the Trump administration and that he believed that the alleged assault was linked to the threatening letter he sent to himself earlier that month. The two men who attacked Jussie were later identified as Abel and Ola Osundairo. One worked as an extra on ‘Empire’ and the other was Jussie’s personal trainer.
On February 20, 2019, Smollett was charged by a grand jury with a class 4 felony for filing a false police report. The next day, Smollett surrendered himself at the Chicago Police Department’s Central Booking station. On March 26, 2019, all charges filed against Smollett were dropped, with Judge Steven Watkins ordering the public court file sealed. First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats said the office reached a deal with Smollett’s defense team in which prosecutors dropped the charges upon Smollett performing 16 hours of community service and forfeiting his $10,000 bond. On March 27, 2019, it was announced that the FBI would be investigating as to why the charges were dismissed.
Smollett has maintained his innocence. The City of Chicago is suing the actor for the costs of the investigation and damage to the city’s reputation.