It’s been several weeks since we last got caught up on Jussie Smollett.
When we last checked out the former “Empire” actor, he had just been indicted on six new counts of “Disorderly Orderly” – AKA “Filing A False Report” – by a Cook County Grand Jury and was out of custody after posting a $20,000 bail bond.
Since then, there have been some interesting developments in and around his life.
Kim Foxx Wins Democratic Primary
While it does directly affect him, Smollett had to be pleased when Kim Foxx, the incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney won a hard-fought – and very expensive – Democratic primary for the same office.
Foxx garnered 56.25% of the total votes – which was enough to earn her the right to go up against the Republican candidate, Pat O‘Brien, in the general election in November (O’Brien has about as much chance of winning that election as Keith Raniere has of U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ordering a new trial based on the alleged perjury of two witnesses who testified against Vanguard at his trial last June).
The primary campaign basically turned into a referendum on Foxx’s handling of the original charges against Smollett – who Chicago police say falsely reported that he was the victim of an anti-gay and racist attack back in January 2019 when he was returning home from a late-night run to a local Subway shop.
Foxx removed herself from the case in February 2019 when she admitted that she had off-the-record conversations with a Smollett relative who had previously served as an aide to former first lady Michelle Obama.
A month later, her office dropped all the pending charges against Smollett.
Smollett Re-Emerges From Self-Imposed Social Media Hiatus
On March 25th, Smollett reappeared on social media for the first time since June 26, 2019.
In an Instagram that he posted that day, Smollett appeared in a video of himself singing Stevie Wonder’s 1966 hit “A Place In the Sun” along with the following message: “Quarantine day 421… Hope y’all are staying safe. Spread love and kindness… not Rona.”
He did not explain what the reference to “day 421” meant.
Either Jussie forgot when he last posted on social media – or he simply has crappy math skills.
Either way, his post attracted over 130,000 views in the first hour.
On April 2nd, Smollett followed up with a birthday tribute to the late Marvin Gaye when he posted his a cappella rendition of “What’s Going On”.
Many believe that the video confirmed why Jussie chose to pursue an acting career rather than a singing career.
Smollett Purchases Facemasks for Cook County Hospital
Earlier this month, Smollett donated $5,000 to purchase protective face masks for the staff at Cook County Hospital.
In a written statement issued by Smollett, he said: “I lived in Chicago for five years and know many essential workers driving buses, working in childcare, or working in grocery stores — are black. I’m also aware 70% of the city’s residents who died from COVID-19 in Chicago are black.”
Smollett’s attorney, William J. Quinlan – who just happens to serve on the Board of Directors of the Cook County Hospital – indicated that Smollett had sought his advice in terms of where to make a contribution.
“Jussie asked me how he could help and I suggested Stroger (Cook County) Hospital, where there is no finer place to do good”, Quinlan said. He also noted that the hospital was in dire need of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
Allegations Emerge That Smollett Was ‘Very Close’ With One of His Alleged Attackers
Just when Jussie was starting to see a little breakthrough in his quest to win back support from his fans and followers, news emerged that he may have had several “romantic liaisons” with Ambimbola “Abel” Osundairo, one of the men he claimed attacked him back in January 2019.
According to a report that appeared in a Page Six column, the two frequented an upscale gay bathhouse in Chicago on several occasions.
An unnamed source was quoted in the column as saying that there is documentary evidence to prove that the two men were at the bathhouse on many occasions. “They used to party together and he had a sexual relationship with [Abel]. They went to this affluent Chicago bathhouse multiple times and they had to show ID. It’s known as a bathhouse where a lot of affluent black gay men hang out. There should be a record [of their visits].”
According to follow-up reports in other media outlets, records from the bathhouse may be subpoenaed by the prosecutors in Smollett’s pending criminal case.
Presumably, those records would be used to show that Jussie was, in fact, more than just friends with one of his alleged attackers.
It’s also quite possible that prosecutors will use those records to convince Smollett to take a plea deal rather than have the records introduced as evidence at his trial.
Federal Lawsuit Against City of Chicago Gets Tossed
Just last week, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Kendall ruled that Smollett’s claim of malicious prosecution against the City of Chicago had to be dismissed – at least for now.
In issuing the ruling, Kendall noted that Smollett could refile the claim if he’s found not guilty in his upcoming criminal trial for filing false charges regarding the alleged assault back in January 2019.
Smollett’s allegations of malicious conduct had been filed as a counterclaim in the city’s civil lawsuit against the actor/singer.
In conjunction with the civil lawsuit, the city is seeking to recover the $130,106 it claims to have spent in investigating his allegations that he was assaulted by two men wearing MAGA hats.
How Much Has Jussie Pissed Away in the Past 15 Months?
It’s hard to calculate just how much money Jussie has pissed away since he first decided that his earning power would be enhanced if he were the victim of a racially motivated and anti-gay motivated attack.
There is the money he spent on criminal defense attorneys to get the original charges against him dropped.
And the $10,000 bail money that he surrendered in that same case.
And the attorneys that he’s had to hire to defend him in the City of Chicago’s civil case against him.
And the attorneys who are defending him in the pending criminal case.
Not to mention all the opportunities that have passed him by since his name became a synonym for “bald-faced liar”.
All in all, he’s probably run up at least $250,000-$350,000 in legal fees so far – with another $250,000 to be incurred if he decides to tough it out and go to trial (Insofar as I have been able to determine, Jussie does not have a feeble-minded person like Clare Bronfman stuffing money into his defense fund).
And he’s probably lost at least another $250,000-$500,000 in potential earnings because of all the bad publicity surrounding him.
All in all, that’s got to be the most expensive late-night snack cravings that anyone has ever had.