Jussie Smollett’s efforts to get his recent felony disorderly conduct charges dropped have proved unsuccessful.
The actor stands accused of making a series of false reports to the Chicago Police Department in Illinois last January, when he claimed to have been the victim of a vicious hate crime attack in the city. However, officials insist he staged the incident against himself to gain publicity, paying brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo to pull off the beating.
Smollett pleaded not guilty to six new felony disorderly conduct charges brought against him last month and requested the dismissal of the case. But while lawyers for the former Empire star argued in an emergency petition that a judge overstepped his authority and misinterpreted the law when he ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor, an Illinois Supreme Court official refused to throw out the charges.
They did not explain the decision when it was announced on Friday.
While the 37-year-old failed to get the special prosecutor removed from the case, Chicago’s State Attorney, Kim Foxx, has angrily defended her decision to initially drop charges.
“This issue with Smollett… excuse my language, it’s bulls**t,” Foxx said during a recent appearance on The Ben Joravsky Show. “We have an abysmal homicide clearance rate; we have horrible violence; and (the attention is on) this case about a low-level offence with an actor who pulled a prank.”
She added: “I’m not saying it wasn’t offensive; I’m not saying it wasn’t something that garnered our attention; but a year later, when I’m sitting with parents who are mourning the loss of their children.”
Smollett denies the charges and recently told a cameraman he would “fight or die” his way to clear his name.
“I don’t claim to be innocent – I am innocent,” he said in footage posted on TMZ.