A judge in Chicago just ordered the documents in the controversial Jussie Smollett case to be released.
Fox News reported that an Illinois judge on Thursday ordered “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s criminal case file unsealed, setting up the release of a wealth of information surrounding the controversial — and often confusing — case.
Cook County judge Steven G. Watkins’ decision came months after a dizzying set of events: First, Smollett alleged he’d been the victim of a hate crime; after an extensive investigation, Chicago cops arrested Smollett and accused him of faking the supposed attack; and then, Cook County prosecutors suddenly dropped the charges against Smollett and his case was sealed.
But not anymore — at least, soon.
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A judge in Chicago on Thursday afternoon ordered the files involving Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s criminal case to be unsealed.
Cook County Judge Steven Watkins stated the Empire actor gave up his right to keep the case sealed when he spoke to the media about the matter, the Associated Press reported.
The disgraced actor was charged with 16 counts after filing a false police report about an allegedly staged racist and homophobic attack against himself in January. Law enforcement believes the disgraced actor carried out the hate hoax to boost his career.
In an announcement that shocked Chicago and the rest of the country, Cook County’s State Attorney Office’s opted to drop the charges on March 26th, providing little explained for their decision. “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said in a statement at the time.
The actor paid $10,000 in bail to get out of jail following his arrest.
Jussie Smollett has insisted that he had “been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”
The development comes after Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s was subpoenaed to appear in court by a retired appellate judge as part of an effort to investigate the handling of the Smollett case. Foxx has been heavily criticized over her office’s handling of the matter.
Meanwhile, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier revealed earlier this month that Empire will end after season six. The show’s producers said there are still “no plans” for Jussie Smollett to return.