Somehow, the already-too-lengthy Jussie Smollett court narrative is still going...and of course, COVID-19 induced lockdowns have only extended it.
Ain’t y’all tired? Because I’m tired. I’m sure Jussie is, even more so. To catch y’all up on what we reported late last year, Jussie is facing new charges alleging that he lied to Chicago police in connection with his claim that he was the victim of a homophobic and racist attack back in January 2019.
“They won’t let this go. It doesn’t matter. There is an example being made. And the sad thing is that there’s an example being made of someone that did not do what they’re being accused of,” Jussie said in an interview published in September 2020—his first time speaking publicly about the case in nearly two years.
Anyway, BBC reports the 39-year-old actor-singer appeared in court on Wednesday for a hearing in regard to whether or not his current lawyer Nenye Uche should be disqualified from representing him going forward. While Wednesday’s hearing was technically related to the 2019 incident, it wasn’t related to the charges against Jussie alleging that he lied to police. There have been hearings in compliance with coronavirus restrictions that took place in 2020 and 2021 regarding those charges.
USA Today adds more context to the hearing, which was a closed hearing (not open to the public) so it’s not completely clear what was said in the courtroom:
When Cook County Judge James Linn ordered the hearing, he said it centered on the question of whether Nenye Uche had a conflict of interest after two key witnesses in the case said they spoke to him. The witnesses in question are brothers who prosecutors said Smollett hired and paid to carry out what Smollett maintains was an attack.
After Uche joined Smollett’s legal team, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo alleged that Uche had spoken with the previously representing them and talked to them about the case. That could result in the judge determining the attorney has a conflict of interest that would require him to bar him from representing Smollett. Uche has denied talking to the brothers.
Linn will announce his decision regarding Uche at a later date, said attorneys emerging from the private hearing late Wednesday.
Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, an attorney for the Osundairos, told reporters they were confident the judge would rule with prosecutors and disqualify Uche.
“I think enough evidence and proof was laid out today to support our position,” she said.
So…yeah, that’s what’s going on so far with this whole...thing.
Though this court saga is taking forever and a day and has admittedly overshadowed Jussie’s career, there was some actual industry-related news involving him late last year. In October of 2020, it was announced that Jussie would be making his directorial debut with the upcoming flick B-Boy Blues starring Timothy Richardson, Brandee Evans, Ledisi and Thomas Mackie.