"After the March 26 dismissal, he voluntarily stood in front of cameras from numerous news organizations in the courthouse lobby and spoke about the case".
Smollett had been charged with 16 counts alleging he lied to police when reporting he'd been the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in January. "While the court appreciates that (Smollett) was in the public eye before the events that precipitated this case, it was not necessary for him to address this so publicly and to such an extent".
Foxx's office also has requested that the court lift the seal on Smollett's records, but only so that Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard can use the documents in his review of the case, not so the records would be made public.
Media attorney Natalie Spears argued that there was no point in keeping the records sealed anymore, per Page Six.
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It was unclear how long it would take the Circuit Court Clerk's Office, which maintains the criminal records, to unseal Smollett's case. Smollett's lawyers argue that he should not be treated any differently than anyone else just because his case gained publicity. In addition to what appears to be preferred treatment given to Smollett, a celebrity, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx is now accused of agreeing to lenient sentences in a variety of cases, in the name of a more "progressive" approach to justice.
"On several occasions, attorneys for defendant, presumably with his authorization, appeared on various media outlets speaking about the case".
Watkins is expected to rule on the request to unseal the file at a hearing scheduled for Thursday morning.
As previously reported, the actor initially claimed he was attacked on the streets of his home in Chicago by two men who he said threw a rope around his neck and poured a bleach-like substance on him.
Communications later released to the Tribune showed Foxx had asked police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to turn over the investigation to the FBI after she was approached by Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama.