“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County Jail after his release Feb. 21. | Kamil Krzaczynskiz/AP

On heels of Jussie Smollett charges, Fox requests security for filming ‘Empire’

The Smollett file . . .

Actor Jussie Smollett’s character on “Empire,” Jamal Lyon, may disappear during this season’s final two episodes because of charges he faked his own racist, homophobic attack.

But it hasn’t stopped Fox from requesting security and traffic-control assistance from Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office when it films scenes for an “Empire” episode Wednesday at Paw Paw Woods.

“It just seemed beyond the pale this request would come on the heels of Smollett being charged yesterday,” said a spokesman for Dart’s office.

“They wanted to know if we had officers available,” said the spokesman. “They claimed they may be doing some stunt driving, but did not mention Smollett,” according to the spokesman.


“And they also volunteered to pay the security costs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. that day.”

Will Smollett’s character die in a car accident if they decide to permanently erase him from the Empire series?

Sneed also hears mega attorney Mark Geragos has now become the main attorney for Smollett; the Chicago lawyers are no longer on the team.


Charles Barkley went off on ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett: ‘Get cash, man

Smollett’s character written out of current ‘Empire’ season

‘Empire’ star owes Chicagoans, hate crime victims an apology

Of mice and mansion . . .


Mouse traps?

Too many varmints in the Governor’s Mansion complex?

Yep, Gov. J.B. Pritzker claims the crumbling ancillary building next to the Governor’s Mansion that houses the governor’s security detail is full of mousetraps … and he hopes to do something about it!

“There are mice and mouse traps everywhere [in the cops’ house],” Pritzker told the Sun-Times Editorial Board recently.

To the rescue?

The governor say first lady M.K. Pritzker may make rehabbing the cops’ new digs one of her first orders of business, since she was a member of the mighty megamillion-dollar privatized rehab effort headed by former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s wife, Diana.

Last November, Sneed asked if the new “old pile” would have “new style” when M.K. (an avid horse person) added her own personal touch.

It now looks like the busy mother of two won’t be adding a paddock, but a project to appropriately house the police.

“Nothing was done with that building,” said Pritzker.

“And the police do such a tremendous job,” he said.

“And they put up with a lot,” he added.

“So my wife is looking at how we could presently fundraise to help upgrade the state of that building.

“It’s unfair for people who work on the [Governor’s Mansion] property every day to be in these diminished conditions.”

Body language?


It’s about the knees.

Or is it?

For two nights in a row, Sneed watched Carol Marin and Phil Ponce question nearly a dozen candidates for Chicago’s mayor on WTTW-TV on issues ranging from taxes to whether they drank Malort, a malodorous brew growing in popularity.

But I wasn’t tracking their soundbites.

I was checking out their leg language.


Seated atop barstools with back rests, I was transfixed by the way each candidate managed their leg room.

So I asked my trusty assistant, Francesca Gattuso, to check out explanations of leg language and came up with a few descriptions on the internet.

Paul Vallas was the only candidate who sat with his knees crossed.

• Translation? Comfort or closed and reserved attitude.

Bill Daley kept his knees open the widest … while tucking his feet firmly on each side of the stool’s leg rest.

Is it a signal of virility, dominance, strength and even a little bit of smugness?

Garry McCarthy’s open knees came in a close second.

The rest a close third.

Toni Preckwinkle was the only woman wearing a skirt and crossed her ankles. (Typical ladylike pose, but also a signal of self-restraint.)

Susana Mendoza and Amara Enyia wore slacks, but also crossed their ankles — which can also be similar to biting the lip, holding oneself from slipping another word, or hiding emotions of anger.

Lori Lightfoot positioned her feet on the stool’s leg rest like most of the men.



The bottom line?

Who will have the final leg up during Tuesday’s mayoral election.


Picking the right person to be Chicago’s next mayor

ENDORSEMENT: Lori Lightfoot for mayor — and a new Chicago Way

EDITORIAL: In a mayoral election that’s up for grabs, your vote really counts

Sneedlings . . .

T-shirt time! Soon-to-be retired WVON’s Cliff “the Governor of Talk Radio” Kelley was recently gifted a special t-shirt from Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas with the phrase “I ain’t the governor [which Kelly calls himself]. I’m the president.” And she showed up during his broadcast last week to sock it to him. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Emily Blunt, 36; Aziz Ansari, 36; and Niecy Nash, 49. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Floyd Mayweather, 42, Daniel Kaluuya, 30; and Phil Knight, 81.

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