Judge orders file in Jussie Smollett criminal case unsealed
- Author: Jacqueline Ellis May 24, 2019,
May 24, 2019, 0:28
Everyone will soon be able to see the evidence police put together in accusing Jussie Smollett of a hate-crime hoax - and he only has himself and his legal team to blame. "By doing so, the court can not credit his privacy interest as good cause to keep the case records sealed".
In his 10-page written ruling, Watkins said there was "a certain irony" in the media's argument that Smollett's case should be treated differently from the average criminal defendant whose request to have records sealed would go unnoticed.
"The lawsuit doesn't specify an amount of money the city is seeking but does indicate it wants over $390,000 plus 'further relief as this Court deems just and equitable.' It also asks that Smollett be ordered to foot any legal bills Chicago incurs in suing him", adds the author.
"The root of this problem is not Mr. Smollett", Watson shared.
Media attorneys requested Cook County Judge Steven Watkins unseal Smollett's case file, arguing that the Smollett saga is now so well known that there is no reason to hide the records regarding his arrest.
Key questions surrounding actor Jussie Smollett's attack claims earlier this year may finally be answered, thanks to a Cook County judge. "After the March 26 dismissal, he voluntarily stood in front of cameras from numerous news organizations in the courthouse lobby and spoke about the case".
The judge's unsealing order comes amid a separate battle for the appointment of a special prosecutor to probe Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's handling of Smollett's case.
But he was charged after Chicago police determined that Smollett had agreed to pay $3,500 to two brothers he knew to stage the attack.
Tchen, an attorney in Chicago, intervened in the Smollett case by telling Foxx that a member of the "Empire" star's family had "concerns" about her office's probe, the Sun-Times previously reported.
The records are expected to be unsealed Thursday.
In one case, Foxx's office appears to have allowed a violent offender to end his own probation and house arrest simply by disabling his ankle monitor.
Smollett had been facing felony charges for allegedly staging a homophobic and racist attack in January.