News media seeks access to Jussie Smollett case files

Jussie Smollett’s criminal court records remain sealed, for now, after a court hearing Thursday on whether the files should be made public.

The news media is trying to unseal the records while Smollett opposes their efforts.

In court, attorneys for the news media -- including FOX 32 News -- argued that the Smollett saga is now so well known that there is no reason to conceal the records regarding his arrest.

"It is widely and publicly known from here to Helsinki and back," said attorney Natalie Spears. "We can't erase history."

She also said sealing the records violates the First Amendment.

Attorneys for Smollett, however, argue that he is entitled -- like thousands of other defendants -- to have his arrest records sealed or even expunged.

Attorney Brian Watson argued that unsealing Smollett's files would create a "dangerous, dangerous precedent." He said that it is unfair for the media to make someone a celebrity, and then use that celebrity status to obtain records that are typically sealed.

"Give Mr. Smollett his rights back," Watson told the judge.

Kim Foxx's office took no position on whether the files should remain sealed. Judge Watkins said he will rule next Thursday.