Jussie Smollett, the Empire actor who was caught faking a hate crime several years ago, just received bad news from a Cook County judge.
According to Fox News, while Smollett’s attorney attempted a last-minute, hail-mary attempt to have the pending charges dropped and his upcoming case dismissed, the judge ruled that not only will the case move on, but Smollett will have to face a jury trial later this year.
Judge James Linn noted that since Smollett’s case is now being handled by a special prosecutor, he has no intention of dismissing the case, as the actor faces several counts of lying to police following the debacle over his hoax hate crimes.
Smollett generated weeks of controversy in 2019 after he reported to Chicago police officers that he’d been the victim of an attack in which he claimed the assailants shouted racist and homophobic slurs.
Investigators would later conclude that Smollett essentially faked the entire incident, noting that it was likely an attempt by the struggling actor to promote his career, as he’d expressed grievances about his contract while working on Empire.
Smollett would later catch the luckiest of all lucky breaks, as it was revealed later on, according to The New York Times, that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dropped all 16 charges the actor faced, without providing much of an explanation as to why she did it or how it was even possible.
Foxx’s decision to drop the charges landed her in hot water, as it was later revealed that she had text conversations with Smollett’s family members at the time when she believed he was an authentic victim of a hate crime, as NPR reported.
Though Smollett experienced a period of reprieve after the 16 charges were dropped, a special prosecutor, Dan Webb, a former U.S. Attorney, was later named to oversee the case, and he would ultimately hit Smollett with six new charges, all related to “disorderly conduct.”
As far as the latest update with Judge Linn ordering that the case proceed to trial, Smollett’s attorney, Nenye Uche, was clearly unhappy with the announcement, arguing that such a trial would be a violation of his client’s rights, given that he’d already performed community service and forfeited a $10,000 bond.
“A deal is a deal. That’s ancient principle,” Uche said. But it was pointed out that the deal was part of the case, and that no such deal existed with regard to his new round of charges.
However, Uche went on to say that his client is looking forward to the trial, saying Smollett wants “nothing more than to go to a jury and clear his name.”
Jury selection for Smollett’s trial is expected to begin in late November.