Jussie Smollett has gone West, young fans, and he has no intention of returning to Chicago for a new court hearing about whether a special prosecutor should be appointed to review how criminal charges against him were dismissed.
That’s what his publicist Hilary Rosen is saying, according to the Associated Press, as Smollett’s attorneys file court papers to stop his being forced to appear in court in Chicago Thursday.
In the court filing, Smollett’s lawyers said the actor, who just got kicked off his Empire TV show for the foreseeable future, got rid of his Chicago apartment due to security concerns, and has moved west to California.
Returning to Chicago for Thursday’s hearing would be an “undue hardship,” the lawyers argued, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Besides, they argued, Smollett is not a factor in the hearing since all charges against him were dropped.
How the 16 felony disorderly conduct charges Smollett faced came to be dropped and demanding that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate is the subject of Thursday’s hearing, which was requested by now-retired Appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien.
Smollett was charged after Chicago police and prosecutors alleged that a racist and homophobic attack Smollett said he suffered in January had been made up by the actor to promote himself and his desire for a raise.
Cook County Chief Prosecutor Kim Foxx, who has faced criticism by law enforcement groups for her office’s handling of the case, is also fighting making an appearance for Thursday’s hearing.
Foxx says she welcomes a review, but by the county inspector general’s office, not a special prosecutor.