It has been over a year since Jussie Smollett has been in a courtroom. Today he is expected to return to one but no one will be allowed to view the proceedings. Smollett is not going to court to face the six charges against him. Instead, a judge is being asked to sort out a possible conflict of interest on the disgraced star’s legal team. The issue involves one of Smollett’s lawyers and his connection to the two brothers who have accused Smollett of paying them to fake his hate crime attack.
Judge James Linn is expected to hear testimony about whether one of Smollett’s would-be attorneys, Nenye Uche, has a conflict of interest that could disqualify him from representing the actor in his hot-button criminal case…
When Uche signed on to represent Smollett earlier this year, the Osundairo brothers alleged that he spoke with them about representing them early in the process, and had substantive conversations about the case. If true, that could mean Uche has a conflict of interest barring him from representing Smollett.
Uche, however, has repeatedly denied ever having had conversations with the brothers.
The documents surrounding this issue are not available to the public but the judge has indicated that the Osundairo brothers claim Uche actually offered them some advice early on about whether or not to turn over the check that Smollett allegedly gave them. If those claims are proven true then Uche will be removed from the case.
As for when the actual case might proceed to a trial, that’s still not clear. Believe it or not it has been 2 1/2 years since this story broke. Charges against Smollett were dismissed by prosecutor Kim Foxx but a special prosecutor in the case later announced Smollett had been indicted again by a grand jury. That was in February of 2020, just weeks before coronavirus lockdowns shut down courts around the country.
So here we are nearly 18 months later and we’re still dealing with side issues about Smollett’s legal team. Maybe after today’s hearing (which is expected to run long) is over, we’ll finally get around to scheduling this case for trial. In the meantime, we can always enjoy this great clip explaining the backstory for anyone who missed it:
And one more bonus clip just because it made me laugh. Here’s Charles Barkley bringing up Smollett on TNT’s NBA halftime show. Once he starts, Shaq just can’t stop laughing: