Television reporter Tamron Hall, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a strip-club boss and a model whom Jesse Jackson Jr. has acknowledged was a “social acquaintance” — are among 12 people Sandi Jackson is seeking to make part of her intensifying divorce case in Washington, D.C., new court filings show.
The filings mark the latest salvo in the high-profile case, which had been simmering down after Jesse Jackson Jr., the former South Side and south suburban congressman, and Sandi Jackson, Chicago’s former 7th Ward alderman, had agreed to litigate the matter in Washington, where Sandi Jackson lives with the couple’s two children, rather than in Chicago, where the former congressman is living.
In late April, the pair — who each served prison time for diverting $750,000 in political campaign contributions for their personal use — had agreed to mediate their divorce case to avoid a potentially sensational trial where allegations of “extramarital affairs” could be publicly detailed, according to court records.
But those mediation proceedings fizzled, and a trial date has now been set for Jan. 8, 2018.
In the ramp-up to trial, Sandi Jackson is seeking information from Rev. Jackson, Jesse Jackson Jr.’s father; Hall, the former MSNBC and “Today Show” host who also worked for WFLD-TV in Chicago from 1997 to 2007; and 10 others who all “have been identified as persons having knowledge of the circumstances that led to the estrangement of the parties, financial issues raised, and allegations made in this matter.”
Besides the Rev. Jackson and Hall, the other 10 people the former alderman is seeking to subpoena are Division Street Bath House owner Joseph Colucci Jr.; Nickie Lum Shapira, founder of a Beverly Hills investment firm and a GOP fund raiser; Debbie Diaz, who runs the Club O Strip Club in Harvey; Regina Jackson of the East Oakland Youth Development Center; former Jackson Jr. aide Change Hamilton-Hayyim; Jackson family friend Alana Ford; Victor Matos; Frank Watkins, a former Jackson congressional aide and longtime Jackson family friend and employee; Dorris Davenport; and Giovana Huidobro, whose past with the congressman has been well-documented.
Before his indictment, Jackson Jr. made headlines for his role in the criminal case against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who eventually was convicted for crimes including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by then-President Barack Obama. Jackson Jr., who’d lobbied Blagojevich to appoint him to the seat, denied any wrongdoing and was never charged in that case. But the FBI did interview Huidobro, whom Jesse Jackson Jr. acknowledged was a “social acquaintance,” as part of its probe.
Huidobro told authorities she knew nothing of Jackson’s political dealings regarding the Senate seat, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 2010. She also said she flew to Chicago on several occasions at Jackson’s request and that Jackson sometimes reimbursed her for her travels.
After the Sun-Times story, Sandi Jackson released a statement saying her family had been “privately addressing” the matter “for two years” and asking the public to “respect our family’s right to continue to handle this matter privately.”
Sandi Jackson’s attorneys did not respond to requests for comment about the latest court filings.
Jackson Jr’s attorney Brendan Hammer said the matter will be resolved in court.
“The merits — or lack thereof — of Ms. Jackson’s motion will be addressed exclusively in court and with transparency, clarity and honesty,” Hammer said.
Hall, who couldn’t be reached for comment, isn’t the only high-profile person to be dragged into the Jackson divorce.
Last week, Jesse Jackson Jr.’s attorneys resurrected their request to subpoena former Chicago Police Department Supt. Garry McCarthy; Rick Simon, a former Chicago police sergeant who now runs a cleaning company that has city contracts, and former Chicago Police officer James Love.
Sandi Jackson’s attorneys in January called a previous request for depositions of the three men “unwarranted subpoenas full of unsupported innuendo.”