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Jussie Smollett loses bid to dismiss criminal case

Actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, on March 14, 2019.

Actor Jussie Smollett has lost his bid to dismiss a criminal case against him and will now face a jury trial next month.

The former Empire star was in court in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, after pleading not guilty to a new indictment in February, 2020. He is accused of lying to police by reporting he was the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in the city in January, 2019.

His attorney told the court the actor had already performed community service and handed over $10,000 US as part of a previous deal with Cook County prosecutors to drop charges.

“A deal is a deal,” lawyer Nenye Uche said.

But Judge James Linn pointed out that Smollett’s case is now being handled by a special prosecutor appointed by another judge, and ruled jury selection in the trial would begin on Nov. 29.

Smollett told police in 2019 that two masked men had attacked him outside his apartment, while taunting him with gay and racist slurs.


Cops launched an investigation but determined the actor had staged his own attack and lied to them, and he was charged with filing a false police report. Authorities claimed Smollett paid two brothers to carry out the attack in an effort to promote his career.

That case was initially dropped but revived when a special prosecutor charged Smollett with disorderly conduct.

Although the actor’s attorney attempted to get the case against his client dismissed, he said Smollett is keen to go to trial and “clear his name.”