Earlier this week, news out of Chicago stated that the charges against "Empire" star Jussie Smollett, for his staging and reporting of a faked hate crime, had been dropped. However, Smollett is not entirely out of the woods yet, as he now has to contend with the fallout of his actions.
Although the Cook County State’s Attorney did indeed reportedly dropped all 16 felony accounts that had been handed down by the grand jury, Smollett looks to be still facing a possible lawsuit as well as federal charges shortly.
Both the lawsuit and the federal charges will stem from the same charges that were dropped in Cook County, that of his allegedly filling a false police report involving a hate crime attack that he claimed he was a victim of on January 29th.
Smollett may have escaped justice in Chicago, but the fallout from his false claims has not quite settled—not by any means.
Andrew Weisberg, the former Cook County prosecutor, commented to Fox News on Wednesday that there was no denying that Smollett's case as an unusual one—for several reasons. However, the most notable is that involving the speed at which his charges were dismissed—he was indicted on March 8th and his charges were dismissed on March 26th—resulting in a total of only 18 days.
Weisberg stated "It was a quick turnaround. Pretrial diversions are usually a year long, and this happened so quickly." Weisberg went on to state that he suspected that the amount of press and notoriety that the case was getting played a significant part in the apparent acceleration of the proceedings.
Weisberg also brought to mention that in other such cases, where a false police report was involved, that the defendant will receive deferred prosecution, but such a move is very rare. The reason is that so much time, money and manpower is put into the investigating of such reports, resulting in the end in the defendant having to pay restitution for covering the city’s estimated expenses.
For Smollett, this may be the most recent charge against him. In a report earlier this, Chicago officials stated they may enter a lawsuit against Smollett to recoup the approximate $116,000 that the city spent to investigate the crime he claimed happened, but was discovered not to have. Also, he may come up on federal charges as well, for mail fraud in the case of the threatening letter that he allegedly mail to FOX himself.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Could the fallout of Smollett’s selfish actions end up being the next stage in an ongoing media drama?