The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled against dropping the latest round of charges against Jussie Smollet for reporting a hate crime to police that prosecutors now say was a hoax, Breitbart News reported.
Lawyers for Smollett tried to use an emergency petition to claim that Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin’s appointment of a special counsel in the case overstepped his authority and was a misinterpretation of the law, according to Breitbart.
The court shot down those arguments without giving a reason for their decision, allowing the case against Smollett to continue moving forward.
The original investigation into Smollett’s allegations that two men attacked him in January 2019 led to 16 counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett when it was discovered that Smollett had allegedly hired the men to attack him and make it look like a hate crime, Breitbart reported.
A hoax attack
Smollett, an actor, is black and gay. He had initially reported to police that the attackers were Trump supporters who yelled, “This is MAGA country!” as they attacked him, according to The Hill.
The initial charges against Smollett over the alleged hoax were dropped almost right away by the then-prosecutor on the case, Kim Foxx. Police and then-mayor Rahm Emanuel were reportedly angry about the charges being dropped, since law enforcement had spent $130,000 investigating the false crime, NBC News noted.
Now, they want Smollett to pay that money back — but his lawyers are trying to get out of that, too. It’s not Smollett’s fault police “chose” to spend over 1,800 hours investigating the alleged crime, the lawyers said, according to The Hill.
For his part, Smollett still says the attack was real and has refused to change his story in spite of police evidence that it was all a hoax, Fox News reports.
Justice will be served
Smollett’s legal team hung its argument on the appointment of a special counsel in the case. Since the subsequent charges stemmed from that appointment, a ruling that the appointment was inappropriate would have nullified those charges.
But the high court wasn’t going along with this argument. Instead, the men who claim Smollett hired them to attack him will be star witnesses against him in the trial, Breitbart reported.
Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo are brothers and aspiring actors who knew Smollett from the set of Empire and from the gym, according to Breitbart.
While legal consequences for Smollett’s alleged hate crime hoax would compound his problems, Smollett was already removed from Empire before the end of its last season, Deadline reported. He has not acted since — and these new charges certainly aren’t helping his job prospects.