Jussie Smollett lawyer: Cameras in court would expose state’s flimsy case
CHICAGO — A lawyer for Jussie Smollett said Tuesday that she would welcome cameras in the courtroom during the “Empire” actor’s trial on charges accusing him of lying to police, saying there has been a lot of leaked misinformation and that cameras would allow the public to “see the evidence and the lack thereof.”
Attorney Tina Glandian made the comments during a brief hearing Tuesday in Cook County criminal court during which both sides agreed that cameras would be allowed at the next hearing in the case, which is scheduled for Thursday.
Judge Leroy Martin said the judge picked to oversee the trial would decide whether cameras would be allowed during the trial.
After the hearing, Glandian told reporters that evidence has been presented against Smollett that is “demonstrably false.”
“We welcome cameras in the courtroom so that the public and the media can see the actual evidence and what we believe is the lack of evidence against Mr. Smollett and we look forward to complete transparency and the truth coming out,” she said.
Smollett is charged with 16 counts accusing him of lying to the police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two masked men in downtown Chicago.
Prosecutors allege that Smollett, who is black and gay, enlisted the help of two other black men and staged the Jan. 29 attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted to promote his career.
Smollett’s attorneys have called the charges “prosecutorial overkill.” The actor, who is free on bond, maintains his innocence.