Just when you thought you’d heard the last of this scandal, Jussie Smollett returned to court. In January 2019, reports surfaced stating that the Empire actor was hospitalized following a hate crime attack in Chicago. What developed was a whirlwind of information and accusations, and soon, Smollett was accused of staging the encounter for publicity and an increase in pay from his show.
The polarizing case divided fans and even Smollett’s famous friends who either made fun of or chastised him over the “hoax,” or stood by him through the backlash. Later, Smollett was let go from Empire and his career has hung in the balance ever since, and while he’s remained relatively quiet about the case, on Wednesday (July 14), Smollett was back in court.
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According to WGN TV, the closed hearing addressed the dealings of attorney Nenye Uche, Smollett’s lawyer. The Osundairo brothers, the two men who claim they were allegedly hired by Smollett to pull off the attack, say that they were previously approached by Uche for representation. Their attorney, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, stated that “the brothers both testified that they had extensive conversations early on” with Uche. The hearing was to determine whether or not a conflict of interest has been presented.
The Osundairo brothers, as well as their mother, reportedly testified. Smollett faces charges that he orchestrated the “hoax” and wasted time, resources, and finances of the Chicago Police Department. As he made his way to court, he reportedly spoke with Fox News briefly, doubling down on his innocence while calling the case a “dog and pony show.”