Hundreds of Pages of Jussie Smollett Case Files Released - NBC Connecticut
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Hundreds of Pages of Jussie Smollett Case Files Released

Hundreds of pages of documents, including the original police report and supplemental reports from the case, were released Thursday afternoon

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Slew of Jussie Smollett Documents Released

    Documents once sealed in the Jussie Smollett case are now public, and NBC 5's Ash-har Quraishi is combing through 400 pages of material to give the latest details in the case. 

    (Published Thursday, May 30, 2019)

    Editor's note: Read the full set of documents in the links below. The second and third batches contain hundreds of pages. Please be patient as they load.

    Hundreds of pages from Chicago police surrounding "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett's case were released Thursday.

    Roughly 400 pages of documents, sent in three pdf documents by Chicago Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, include the original police report and supplemental reports from the case:

    Jussie Smollett Case Files: Batch 1

    Jussie Smollett Case Files: Batch 2 

    Jussie Smollett Case Files: Batch 3 

    The materials are part of a multi-stage release that follows a judge's order to unseal Smollett's file.

    Last week, the case file's unsealing detailed Jussie Smollett's conditions after posting $10,000 bail amid charges he lied about being the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack. One of the conditions was that he have no contact with two brothers police say he paid to help stage the incident.

    Besides that detail, the "Empire" actor's criminal case file appears to contain little new information. The bulk of the more-than-250-page file centers on the legal battle between media organizations that wanted access to the file and Smollett's attorneys who wanted it kept sealed.

    In his order for the file to be unsealed, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Steven Watkins said Smollett's actions before and after his case was dismissed did not appear to be those of someone seeking to maintain his privacy. Smollett's lawyers had argued that since the charges were dropped, the actor had "the right to be left alone."

    Watkins' decision, which followed requests by The Associated Press and other media organizations to make the file public, said there were good arguments for keeping the file sealed but that Smollett forfeited his right to protect his privacy by talking to the media.

    The actor had been charged with 16 counts alleging he lied to police when telling them that two masked men beat him in January in downtown Chicago, shouted slurs at him, doused him with a chemical substance and looped a rope around his neck. Police still insist Smollett, who is black and gay, staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the Fox TV show and wanted publicity.

    Prosecutor Details Decision to Drop Smollett ChargesProsecutor Details Decision to Drop Smollett Charges

    First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats reveals reason prosecutors decided to drop charges against Jussie Smollett. 

    (Published Tuesday, March 26, 2019)

    Prosecutors dismissed all charges, though, with little explanation on March 26.

    The judge wrote last week that Smollett "voluntarily appeared on national television for an interview speaking about the incident in detail. After the March 26 dismissal, he voluntarily stood in front of cameras from numerous news organizations in the courthouse lobby and spoke about the case. On several occasions, attorneys for Defendant, presumably with his authorization, appeared on various media outlets speaking about the case."

    The judge added, "These are not the actions of a person seeking to maintain his privacy or simply be let alone."

    Natalie Spears, an attorney representing media organizations that wanted the file unsealed, applauded Watkins' decision.

    "This is about transparency and trust in the system and we believe the public has a right to know what the government did and why," she said Thursday after the hearing.