Timeline: The Jussie Smollett Incident


Below, a condensed list of events. See the timeline above for a more comprehensive outline.

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Jan. 29, 2019, 2 a.m.: Jussie Smollett is walking along the 300 block of East Lower Water Street in Streeterville when he is approached by two men who allegedly yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him. Those attackers hit Smollett in the face, pour an unknown substance (later determined to be bleach) on him and wrap a rope around his neck before fleeing.

Jan. 30: The CPD asks the public to help identify two persons of interest who are seen in surveillance photos released by the department walking along New St. near Illinois, between 1:30 a.m. and 1:45 a.m. on Jan 29.

Feb. 1: Smollett makes his first public comments since the incident, telling Essence magazine that he’s been “100% factual and consistent on every level,” following rumors that he’d been less than forthcoming with investigators about his attack.

Feb. 19: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announces that she has recused herself from the investigation into Smollett’s attack, after she said she had contact with Smollett’s family and help set up interviews with police.

Feb. 20: Hours after being identified as a suspect in his own alleged attack, Jussie Smollett is charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

Feb. 21: Smollett turns himself in to Chicago police and makes his initial court appearance at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson outlines the case against the actor, claiming he paid two brothers and gave them specific directions to stage the attack in an effort to boost his public profile.

March 14: Smollett appears in court and pleads not guilty to the charges against him.

March 26: In a stunning twist, Cook County prosecutors drop all charges against Smollett during an emergency hearing.

April 11: The city of Chicago’s Law Department files a lawsuit against Smollett, seeking to recoup the $130,000 it says the CPD spent on overtime as it investigated the actor’s claims.

Aug. 23: Judge Michael Toomin appoints high-profile litigator Dan Webb as special prosecutor in re-investigate Smollett’s criminal case.

Jan. 8, 2020: The Chicago Tribune reports that a Cook County judge has ordered Google to turn over a year’s worth of Smollett’s location data, photos and private messages to Webb, giving the public its first look into the direction of the special prosecutor’s investigation.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson[email protected] | (773) 509-5431


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