Jussie Smollett lawyers get more time to prepare arguments for 2019 Streeterville attack allegations

Liz Nagy Image
Monday, August 2, 2021
Jussie Smollett lawyers get more time to prepare arguments
Progress on the case was slowed by accusations that one of Smollett's attorneys had spoken to the two men the actor allegedly hired to help him carry out a racist and homophobic at

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The saga surrounding former Empire actor Jussie Smollett continued in Cook County court Monday.

This time, a judge ruled that Smollett's new legal team will have an additional two weeks to begin preparing arguments and reviewing evidence ahead of a potential trial.

The court proceedings added another chapter to the ever-changing legal case that's been going on for more than two years after the Cook County State's Attorney's office brought charges against the former TV star saying he filed false police reports when he claimed he was attacked in what he called a hate crime.

RELATED: Jussie Smollett's lawyer allowed to stay on case, not allowed to question 2 key witnesses: judge

Police said an intense investigation revealed Smollett had paid the brothers who allegedly attacked him and faked the entire incident.

State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office charged Smollet and then later dismissed the charges in March of 2019 after saying Smollett had completed community service and forfeited his $10,000 bond.

The special prosecutor was brought into review Foxx's handling of the case and recharged Smollet with disorderly conduct in filing a fake police report.

RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: Special prosecutor finds 'abuses of discretion' in Kim Foxx's handling of 'Empire' actor's case

Progress on the case was slowed by accusations that one of Smollett's attorneys, Nenye Uche, had spoken to the two men the actor allegedly hired to help him carry out the attack. Special Prosecutor Dan Webb argued that was a conflict of interest.

Cook County Judge James Linn Linn on Friday ordered that Uche could remain on the case but prohibited him from questioning the two brothers, Abinbola and Olabinjo Osudairo, should the case go to trial.

Uche told the judge on Monday that he needed more time to prepare arguments on several pre-trial motions, including the defense's hope to introduce evidence about the older brother's prior conviction.

A full legal team representing Smollett spoke Monday afternoon outside the Cook County courthouse and said that, without question, Smollett is innocent and lambasted the entire process that's played out.

"Is it right that a non-elected official second guesses our elected State's Attorney and charges Mr. Smollett with a case that was already dismissed? That's a breach of contract in our system of justice. In our case law in Illinois, we have cases that say you can't breach contracts," Uche said.

"We had over 20 detectives assigned by the Chicago Police Department investigating this low-level class 4 felony. As Mr. Uche pointed out, a case that had already been dismissed on its merit. So let's talk about the tremendous waste of resources here. Let's talk about the good citizens of Cook County and their tax dollars," added fellow attorney Tamara Walker.

Smollett attended Monday's virtual hearing and told the judge he was in New York City.

Smollett, who was starring in the television show "Empire" at the time of the incident, has been charged with felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing false police reports about what happened. He has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.

Smollett's attorneys will be back in court for the next hearing via zoom on August 26.

The Associated Press contributed to this post.