UPDATE: The Illinois Supreme Court rejected former Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s request to throw out charges against him.
In addition to that, the court rejected Smollett’s bid to remove the special prosecutor in the case. The decisions were announced on Friday.
EARLIER: Almost two weeks after being newly indicted on felony charges arising from the alleged fake hate crime attack of January 2019, Jussie Smollett was back in court today, in more ways than one.
Appearing in a Cook County criminal courthouse to plead not guilty this morning, the former Empire star was also pleading with the Illinois Supreme Court to kill the latest charges. The filed motion for a stay and dismissal of special prosecutor Dan Webb's February 11 move of six renewed charges claims that “the recent Smollett indictment wasn't proper because the special prosecutor was appointed incorrectly.”
As controversy continued to grow around the assault that Smollett asserted occurred in the early morning of January 29, 2019 and the sudden and seemingly painless dropping of 16 subsequent charges in March of last year by the office of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, ex-U.S. Attorney Webb was appointed by a judge late last summer — an appointment that never should have been allowed to go forward.
“The circumstances surrounding the initial case in 2019 did not reach the legal level warranting the appointment of a special prosecutor,” lawyer William J. Quinlan and long-time Smollett attorney Tina Glandian stated in the paperwork. “Under the terms of the law, in order to appoint a special prosecutor, the office of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx had to file a former recusal with the court,” the motion added, “and that didn't occur here.”
In fact, at the corresponding appearance Monday in front of Land of Lincoln Judge James Linn, lawyers for Smollett sought to have the pause button hit on the whole arraignment due to the state Supreme Court action. With Smollett and supporters standing there, Judge Linn declined to delay the proceedings, heard the actor who played Jamel Lyon for five seasons on the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong created series enter his plea and told him to be back on March 18.
Essentially fired from the now ending Empire once it appeared all was not as Smollett claimed about the early morning attack, the actor has spent the last year battling ongoing and politically invoked lawsuit from the city itself over the initial Chicago Police Department probe into the claimed hate crime, challenges from the once “persons of interest” Osundairo brothers and the steady release of what were once sealed document and material.
Among those matters, there was also a failed previous legal...
It's been a busy week in the Dick Wolf universe. The Law & Order creator scored a straight-to-series order for a new series starring Christopher Meloni reprising his Law & Order: SVU role as Elliot Stabler, as revealed today by Deadline. Tonight, it’s also the unexpected season finale of FBI after production on the CBS drama was shut down as a result of the coronavirus. The episode marks the long-rumored crossover between NBC's Chicago P.D. and FBI — the first multi-network crossover in the Dick Wolf universe.
The episode is directed by Monica Raymund, best known for being in front of the camera in Wolf's World as Gabriela Dawson, the star of Chicago Fire between 2012-2019. It is only Raymund's third television directing gig after an episode of Law & Order: SVU in 2018 and an episode of FBI earlier this season.CBS
Raymund tells Deadline she had no idea that this episode — Episode 19 — would be the season finale when she was directing it. “Me and the rest of the world have been curtailed by this virus. Right as the sh*t hit the fan, I had just got back to L.A. after directing [the episode] in New York. I was in post the first day, right as everything was starting to go down. By the end of the second day of post-production, that was when everything was starting to shut down. I didn't go into post because I had to stay inside; a few of the editors were older and I don't know their pre-existing health conditions, so I needed to stay home and worked remotely with my editor to finish the episode that way,” she says.
Editing the episode remotely was also a challenge for Raymund. “It was strange. A lot of directors work remotely on television shows when they're editing, but I don't like doing it,” she says. “I like to be in person as much as possible, that's my process. I can jibe with the editors and bounce ideas back and forth. Being in person on any kind of collaboration is better, for me, than being on the phone. We'd already developed a shorthand so we were able to communicate over the phone, but then on the last day of editing, we found out that they'd canceled the rest of the season so now my episode is the season finale.”
Written by Rick Eid and Joe Halpin, tonight’s eposide, titled “Emotional Rescue,” is notable for the fact that it brings together Chicago P.D. star Tracy Spiridakos, who plays Detective Hailey Upton, with the FBI cast. It follows the FBI team investigating a drug deal gone bad after the body of a college student is found. Upton is helping out, but her usual investigative methods clash with the bureau's more buttoned-up environment
The crossover was set up on the March 25 episode of Chicago...