Despite the fact that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago dropped all 16 felony charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly staging a hoax attack, his troubles seem to be far from over.
Here are seven outstanding and problematic issues that have yet to be reconciled as it relates to the 36-year-old Smollett:
- The trust factor: First of all, a great portion of the country still believes that Smollett is guilty of staging a hoax racist and homophobic attack in the early morning of Jan. 29, 2018. The public relations fallout from this fiasco could cost him his coveted job on the hit show “Empire” — and he knows it has already put the rest of his career in jeopardy.
- Smollett’s pockets might get much lighter: According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered the Chicago Corporate Counsel to bill Smollett $130,000 to cover the cost of the weeks of overtime spent unraveling this case. Smollett has refused to pay, which means he could be taken to court. If the judge rules in the city’s favor, Smollett could be on the hook for triple the amount, or $390,000, according to WGN Radio.
- The Department of Justice could soon be operating two separate investigations on Smollett. The first is already underway, and it involves the FBI who is helping the U.S. Postal Service investigative unit to determine whether or not Smollett sent himself the infamous hate letter on Jan. 22. Also, the FBI is being asked to probe into why the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office suddenly dropped all of the charges against Smollett. The Chicago Police Department claimed it had more than enough evidence for the DA to convict Smollett.
- “Power” actress Naturi Naughton, 34, says Smollett should stay away from the awards show on Saturday, March 30 in Los Angeles. He’s been nominated for best supporting actor in a drama. When you look at the interview Naughton did with TMZ, it is clear that she does not believe Smollett, and Naughton thinks Smollett should graciously bow out of the event altogether due to the toxicity hovering around him these days.
- According to Yahoo.com, Illinois State Representative Michael McAuliffe, a Republican, plans to file legislation to prohibit any production company in Illinois hiring the actor from receiving Illinois Film Tax Credits.
- Smollett’s lawyers went on to “CBS This Morning” and gave a questionable explanation as to why the two Nigerian-American brothers were in the vicinity of Smollett’s luxury apartment condo on the night of the alleged attack in sub-freezing weather. This further casts doubt on Smollett’s version of the events and subsequently creates a murky outlook for his career.
- Smollett considered suing the city of Chicago and the Chicago PD: One of Smollett’s attorneys, Tina Glandian, was asked by “Good Morning America” whether he considers suing for being falsely accused of staging his own beatdown. She told George Stepenaupolis they are weighing their options. “For Jussie, what’s really important is he really just wants his career and his life back.”