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Jussie Smollett, the actor who allegedly falsely claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime, will stand trial beginning next month, after a Chicago judge denied his request to dismiss the case over his false police report.
Smollett’s attorney argued that forcing the 39-year-old former “Empire” actor into court would be a violation of his rights, as he has already completed community service and given up a $10,000 bond under a previous deal to drop charges in Cook County.
“A deal is a deal. That’s ancient principle,” attorney Nenye Uche said.
However, Judge James Linn said he would not intervene in the case which is being led by a special prosecutor appointed by another judge. Jury selection will begin on November 29.
Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct in February of 2019 for allegedly making a false report to Chicago police in January 2019, claiming he had been attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him and wrapped a rope around his neck. He told police the assault occurred in the middle of a frigid Chicago night while he was out picking up a Subway sandwich.
Police investigated the alleged incident, which Smollett claimed happened in the upscale neighborhood of Streeterville, but could not find any video evidence of the assault. Officers ultimately began investigating whether Smollett paid brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo to stage an attack after first investigating the brothers as persons of interest.
Smollett allegedly orchestrated the fake hate crime to “promote his career” and paid the two men $3,500 to help him, former Chicago police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said.
Smollett’s felony disorderly conduct charge was dropped by Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx’s office. However, a judge later assigned a special prosecutor to the case who, in February 2020, charged the disgraced actor with six new counts of disorderly conduct.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.