Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Jussie Smollett to Face Jury in Trial for Chicago Hate Crime

Jussie Smollett, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo
Jussie Smollett and Nigerian brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo

*Jussie Smollett is heading to trial next month over his racist and homophobic attack in Chicago in 2019 — an incident that the police claim he made up.

The former “Empire” actor attempted to have the criminal case against him tossed but TMZ reports that a Cook County judge shot down his request. 

Here’s more from the outlet: 

Smollett’s attorney tried convincing the court that his client’s rights were being violated, seeing how the guy had already forfeited his $10,000 bond and done community service … which served as the terms he struck with Cook County prosecutors to have the charges dismissed. Per reports, the attorney noted Smollett had held up his end of the bargain, saying … “A deal is a deal. That’s ancient principle.” Not so, according to the judge — who noted a new set of circumstances arose when a special prosecutor reopened the case … and charged Jussie anew.

Smollett was charged in 2019 with 16 felony counts for falsifying a police report claiming two men attacked him on Jan. 29, 2019, in Chicago, while spewing racist and homophobic slurs. The charges were dropped after he agreed to forfeit his bond. A special prosecutor later charged him again amid claims by two Nigerian brothers that they were paid by the actor to carry out the attack.

READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Opens Up About 2019 Hate Crime Case: ‘They Won’t Let This Go’ [WATCH]

jussiesmollett

Last year, Smollett opened up about his hate crime attack in an interview with activist Marc Lamont Hill. The disgraced actor/singer appeared in an Instagram Live with Hill, during which he discussed his ongoing trial.

“It’s been beyond frustrating, and I certainly am not going rogue,” he said about the case. “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don’t really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me. … It’s so much bigger than me.”

In February 2020, Smollett pleaded not guilty to a six-count indictment that was revived by the special prosecutor.

He continues to maintain his innocence.

“They won’t let this go,” Smollett told Hill. “It doesn’t matter — there is an example being made. And the sad part is that there’s an example being made of someone who did not do what they are being accused of.”

Jury selection for the case begins after Thanksgiving.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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