A Cook County judge may rule in the coming weeks on whether or not the files in Empire star Jussie Smollet’s case will be unsealed. Lawyers for several media organizations filed motions seeking to make the records public because of the national attention to case and the prosecutors’ sudden and unexpected decision last week to drop all charges in the case.
In exchange for dropping the charges, Smollett forfeited $10,000 in the bail he posted in Chicago. During the same hearing, Smollett’s lawyers asked Judge Steven Watkins to seal all of the records be in the case. Prosecutors issued no objections, and Watkins complied.
On Tuesday, Watkins said that would be decided in writing around May 23rd.
“The file is sealed,” Watkins said Tuesday, noting that under the law the file is not simply tossed out but can’t be viewed by anyone without a court order. “It’s not destroyed.”
Support for Smollett in Hollywood, meanwhile, is lukewarm. Ava DuVernay has supported him, while Chris Rock, and most recently Tracy Morgan, have criticized him.
On Monday night during his appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, Morgan cracked jokes about Smollett's lleged hate crime.
“Yeah, they gave me a role on Empire,” Morgan started off. “Contractually, they gave me millions of dollars. Contractually, all I gotta do is not fake a hate crime.”
Then he added, “Jussie!”