Not only is Jussie Smollett in big trouble, so are some staff people at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
According to CBS Chicago, dozens of workers were terminated for looking at the actor’s medical records when he landed in the emergency room. It was right after he said two men attacked him, an incident for which he was later accused of lying about and staging himself.
One nurse already confirmed that she was let go on Tuesday, Feb. 26, but she claims to have only scrolled past Smollett’s medical chart when gathering information on another patient. That worker also said she has a strong belief that others were terminated for the same reason and calls the whole thing a misunderstanding.
The worker said she was never given a chance to explain herself before she was fired and was escorted out of the building right away.
Smollett was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 29 after saying two men beat him up while he was walking to a Subway restaurant in his neighborhood. Besides striking the actor, who’s gay and Black, he claimed the two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs, put a noose around his neck and poured a liquid substance on him.
Police later arrested and spoke to two brothers from Nigeria who said Smollett paid them $3,500 to attack him, and the “Empire” star is now facing felony disorderly conduct charges.
On Feb. 21 Superintendent Eddie Johnson of the Chicago Police Department blasted the 36-year-old at a news conference for allegedly staging the attack.
“Why would anyone, especially an African-American, use a noose to further his public profile?” he asked.
The exact reason why Smollett may have staged the attack is still unknown, but some reports stated he was upset about his current salary on “Empire,” which, according to TMZ, the show’s producers said they have no cause to believe. TMZ reported that the actor is believed to have been getting $125,000 per episode.
At this time, there’s no further information about the hospital workers, because a spokesperson for Northwestern Memorial said it’s against policy to give employment status.
Smollett is due back in court on March 14.