In an official ruling sent down by a Chicago judge on Thursday, it would appear that the files that pertain to the Jussie Smollett case are to be unsealed and made available to the general public.
The records in question contain information on the charges that accused the “Empire” actor staged an attack on himself, of a homophobic and racist nature, arranging for two brothers he knew from his show to carry out the assault itself. After much media attention, the prosecutors assigned to the Smollett case suddenly dropped the charges on March 26th, in what many believed to be a conspiracy of entitlement.
Once the charges had officially been dropped, Smollett's lawyers moved to have the case records sealed, and the request was granted. That is until now. On Thursday the documents were once again unsealed, as a result of the New York Times and other such news organization, who collectively argued that there was a need for transparency in this particular case.
Many believe that with the records being unsealed by Circuit Court of Cook County, specifically Judge Steven G. Watkins, that some light may be shed and information gained into why the prosecutor's office dropped the charges as suddenly as they had. The files were expected to be made available for viewing sometime in the afternoon this past Thursday.
Although many thought that with Smollett’s involvement in a crime that caused such a media frenzy, as well as negative press for the show he was attached to, that his career would pretty much be over. However, it had been previously announced that Fox had not only renewed "Empire," for its sixth and reportedly final season but the renewal, in fact, included the option to extend Smollett’s contract so his character can finish out the series.
It would seem that Fox’s position has since changed, as according to information obtained last week, Fox claims there are plans for Smollett’s character to return for the sixth and final season. When TheWrap put in a request for comment from Mark Geragos, Smollett’s lawyer, on the fact that Fox is claiming that Smollett’s character would not be returning, there was no immediate response.
This leaves fans of the show in a form of limbo, as conflicting reports seem to be coming out from both sides, and nothing for sure is known at this point. I guess all that can be done is to wait for the series to premiere its new season, and fans will then know for sure.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Do you think that Smollett should return to finish out the final season of “Empire”?