Months after the stunning decision of Cook County prosecutors to drop all charges against actor Jussie Smollett, the former ‘Empire’ star again has something to worry about.
His court records, which many believe reveal some shady behind-the-scenes dealings, were subsequently sealed, seriously restricting the information that the public could know.
Now, as many had hoped would happen, those same documents have been ordered UNSEALED.
“Cook County judge Steven G. Watkins vacated the sealing order on Smollett's docs.”
When the State Attorney objected, those pleas were soundly rejected.
“When the state attorney asked whether they could have more time to redact personal information, Watkins said, "act as if the documents were never sealed in the first place."
The decision relates to the shocking ‘hate crime’ allegedly committed against the 31-year-old actor in January, in particular, Smollett’s arrest for filing a false report.
Media outlets who were behind the request to unseal the docs were delighted by the results.
“This is about transparency and trust in the system:” Attorney for media organizations, including @cbschicago, applauds judge’s decision to unseal Jussie Smollett file.
Smollett was accused of fabricating the story in which he claimed to have been attacked by two white men wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.
“In January, Smollett filed a police report alleging that two masked men attacked him, put a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him as he was walking home from a fast food eatery.
“Smollett, who is black and openly gay, said the masked men beat him, made racist and homophobic comments and yelled Donald Trump's campaign slogan, ‘This is MAGA country,’ before fleeing the scene.”
As evidence mounted against the actor, it looked as though the long arm of the law had finally gotten ahold of him and wasn’t letting go.
“Smollett was later arrested for allegedly filing a false police report and faced 16 counts of disorderly conduct stemming from the incident.”
But then, inexplicably, things took a dramatic turn.
“Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges against Smollett without explanation, though his bail was forfeited.”
Since then, the Odunsairo brothers, who were the supposed attackers in the hoax, have filed suit against Smollett for defamation of character.
And Jussie's legal woes don’t end there.
The city of Chicago is now suing the actor in an effort to recoup resources spent investigating the alleged hoax.
Through it all, Smollett has maintained his innocence and continues to claim that the attack was real.
Today’s ruling by Judge Watkins will, hopefully, bring more of the truth to light. Then, if Jussie truly is innocent, he can be fully vindicated. If not, then he will likely face the consequences of his behavior.