The Supreme Court of Illinois has declined to dismiss six counts of disorderly conduct against actor Jussie Smollett for reporting a hate crime last year that allegedly turned out to be a hoax, the Daily Caller reports.
Smollett told police that he had been attacked by Trump supporters in January 2019, but it was later alleged that he hired men to attack him — and make it look like a racially and sexuality-motivated attack — because he was unhappy with his salary on the TV show Empire.
The Supreme Court also declined to remove the special prosecutor that had been assigned to the case and gave no explanation for either of its decisions, the Daily Caller reported.
Smollett has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has maintained that the attack against him was real, according to Fox News, despite testimony from the attackers that he paid them to do it.
Original charges dropped
Smollett was originally charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct, but those charges were dropped by then-prosecutor Kim Foxx, who has since left that position.
Law enforcement and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were reportedly angry about the charges being dropped, since they had spent considerable time and money investigating the falsely reported incident.
“He is walking around like he is the victim here of an unjust act,” Emanuel complained about Smollett at the time, according to The New York Times.
Police characterized the arrangement as a sort of deal at the time, noting that Smollett forfeited his $10,000 bail and had to do community service even though he maintained his innocence.
“In our experience, innocent individuals don’t forget bond [and] perform community service in exchange for dropped charges,” a police spokesman said, according to the Times.
What the future holds
The Daily Caller reported that the city is now looking for Smollett to pay back $130,000 in investigative costs incurred by police. Smollett maintains that the police didn’t need to investigate as much as they did, and his legal team wants that part of his case dropped as well.
The men who said Smollett paid them to attack him will be the key witnesses against him in the trial, Fox reports. Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo were aspiring actors and brothers who knew Smollett from the set of Empire and from the gym.
Smollett was removed from the last two episodes of Empire’s fifth season following the controversy and was never brought back to the show, which was subsequently canceled after its sixth season, according to Deadline.