Many of the questions about the handling of the Jussie Smollett case in Chicago may soon be answered after a judge ruled today that the case file be unsealed.
CNN quotes Cook County Circuit Judge Steven Watkins writing in today’s decision: “Good cause does not exist to keep the records of this case sealed.”
The records were sealed after prosecutors unexpectedly dropped 16 felony charges against the “Empire” actor on March 26. Smollett had been accused of filing a false police report when he alleged he had been a victim of a hate crime in Chicago.
The judge cited Smollett’s own actions in deciding to unseal the records.
“Writing that it’s ‘easily conceivable that a defendant whose case was dismissed would wish to maintain his sense of privacy,’ Watkins said that this was not the case with Smollett and noted that the actor and his attorneys spoke to several media outlets following the dismissal,” CNN reports.
Wrote Watkins: “These are not the actions of a person seeking to maintain his privacy or simply be let alone. While the court appreciates that the defendant was in the public eye before the events that precipitated this case, it was not necessary for him to address this so publicly and to such an extent.”