Jussie Smollett Fights Appointment of Special Prosecutor

CHICAGO (CN) – Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett continues to assert that he was a victim in his hate crime fiasco, arguing in court papers filed Friday that an Illinois judge should not have ruled to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate how his criminal case was handled.

Actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends an “Empire” event in Los Angeles on May 20, 2016. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Smollett seemingly came to the defense of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Kim Foxx, whose office filed and then quickly dropped criminal charges against the actor for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself in Chicago in January.

A judge ruled last month that a special prosecutor will be appointed to investigate how Foxx’s office handled the case.

Cook County Judge Michael P. Toomin granted a petition from retired judge Sheila O’Brien to do so in May, saying she was right that Foxx overstepped her authority in picking a lead prosecutor for Smollett’s case after recusing herself due to contact she had with a family member.

In a motion to reconsider filed Friday, Smollett’s attorneys argue that Foxx was well within her rights to choose an assistant state’s attorney to handle the case against the actor since she never filed a formal recusal, and that Judge Toomin’s statement that Smollett could possibly be re-prosecuted was vague and overbroad.

“This case has been a travesty of justice and an unprecedented deprivation of Mr. Smollett’s constitutional rights, including the presumption of innocence and right to a fair trial,” the 31-page motion states. “The court has accepted false media reports to presume Mr. Smollett guilty of charges which he plead not guilty to and which were dismissed against him.”

The actor “respectfully requests that this court grant his motion, vacate the June 21, 2019 order, and deny the petition to appoint a special prosecutor.”

The filing goes on to maintain Smollett’s innocence, saying the two brothers alleging he paid them to fake the attack are lying.

“Not a single piece of evidence independently corroborates their claim that the attack was a hoax,” the motion states, adding that the only evidence it was staged is their testimony.

Smollett claims the $3,500 check he paid to Abimbola Osundairo was for physical training and nutrition, pointing to a chain of text messages about the subject as proof.

Abimbola and his brother Olabinjo say one of those messages, asking for “help on the low,” was about them faking the hate crime.

Smollett contends that what he actually wanted was for the Osundairos to get illegal herbal weight loss steroids for him from Nigeria, where they are from. More text messages sent by the brothers to friends prove that they are, in fact, homophobic, the motion states.

The motion also implicates a young, white man as a third perpetrator to the alleged crime, with witnesses reportedly putting him near the scene.

Neither Foxx’s office nor the Osundairos’ attorneys immediately returned a request for comment Friday.

In April, the Osundairos sued Smollett’s attorneys, Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian of Geragos & Geragos, for defamation in federal court.

The brothers claim the attorneys damaged their reputations with false statements made about them made during media appearances, including that they condone the use of steroids to their training clients.

Glandian insinuated that Abimbola had a sexual relationship with Smollett, endangering the brothers’ family in Nigeria where homosexuality is both illegal and unaccepted, according to their complaint.

Chicago and its police department also doubled down on their accusations against the actor, suing Smollett in state court to recover the $130,000 the city says it spent on investigating the crime.

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