Photo Credit: Jussie Smollett/Instagram
Jussie Smollett’s case might have received a media overload of attention, but we might finally get some further insight into why charges against him were dropped. You may remember that the second it happened, his record was sealed at the request of Smollett’s team, pretty much guaranteeing that whatever happened will forever be a secret, outside of the pending federal case where the letter sent in the mail with powder in it was being checked by the FBI to see if he sent it. We wonder what happened to that, by the way.
But all of this may soon be changing as attorneys for Chicago Tribune and other news organizations were in court yesterday trying to have Smollett’s case unsealed. “There is no way to secrete the fact of Jussie Smollett’s arrest. At this point it is widely and publicly known from here to Helsinki and back,” said Natalie Spears, a Tribune attorney. “No potential employer, let alone anyone with a pulse, does not know about Jussie Smollett’s arrest at this point.”
Cook County Judge Steven Watkins has been asked by media attorneys to unseal the case which has now been said will be decided upon next week. One of Smollett’s attorneys, Brian Watson has said he’s entitled under law to have his record sealed and opening it would set a dangerous precedent. “The argument is circular and it’s self-serving,” Watson said of media attorneys’ claims. “The root of this problem is not Mr. Smollett. The root of this problem is that the media, Mrs. Spears’ clients, created publicity, and now her clients want to use that against someone who wants to get their rights back.” He went on to say, “Everybody knows the charges were brought, but it gives the defendant who has not been convicted of anything (the ability) to … get his rights back.” Prosecutors in turn have asked that the records be partially unsealed, at least just for the county Office of the Inspector General to review to make sure nothing unseemly was done by states attorney Kim Foxx‘ office.
Meanwhile, the cast of Empire have been fighting to get Smollett back on the show and the producers responded by cancelling the show. That pretty much shows how they feel about working with him again. He’s since left Chicago and was seen having his brother help him move to L.A. where he’s been reported to be having night terrors about everything that’s happened to him. And the charges being dropped in his case have set a new precedent. Just this week a Chicago Alderman was charged with filing a police report, calling the police on a woman he was dating to have her arrested, falsely reporting his car as stolen. People are sitting around waiting to see if he’ll get the same treatment. If this in fact was a staged hoax, if it was to gain political infamy, it appears he’s already received it. As for the future of his career, that is yet to be seen how that’s going to play out. We’ll be reporting on further updates.