Published: Fri, May 24, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Judge Orders Jussie Smollett Case Files Be Released

Judge Orders Jussie Smollett Case Files Be Released

"While the court appreciates that the defendant was in the public eye before the events that precipitated this case, it was not necessary for him to address this so publicly and to such an extent". "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.

Smollett was accused of staging his own racist and homophobic attack and filing a false police report. It will be an uphill battle, though, as the original decision to seal the case was nearly as odd as the decision to let Smollett off the hook.

Brian Watson, one of Smollett's attorneys, would not say Thursday if the actor might appeal Watkins' decision to a higher court. The actual court file itself is slim since Foxx's office abruptly dropped the 16-count indictment against Smollett only about a month after he was charged.

The Chicago Sun-Times - one of the papers requesting access to the Smollett file - reported that the Cook County judge, Steven Watkins, ordered the documents unsealed because Smollett and his attorneys had "not shown good cause to rebut the public presumption of access".

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. "No potential employer, let alone anyone with a pulse, does not know about Jussie Smollett's arrest at this point".

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Writing that it's "easily conceivable that a defendant whose case was dismissed would wish to maintain his sense of privacy", Watkins said that this was not the case with Smollett and noted that the actor and his attorneys spoke to several media outlets following the dismissal.

The records are expected to be unsealed Thursday.

Prosecutors alleged Smollett staged the attack.

The decision to drop the charges angered Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson, who said he was blindsided by the decision. But during a short and stunning hearing, the office of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges against Smollett, though his bail was forfeited.

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