CHICAGO (CBS) – Dozens of workers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital may have been fired for improperly reviewing the medical records of Jussie Smollett, who was treated at the emergency room after he claimed he had been attacked by two men.
Sources said those workers have been terminated after gaining access to the “Empire” actor’s medical chart. Smollett has since been charged with staging the whole incident.
One of the nurses said it was a misunderstanding, and claimed she never even accessed Smollett’s chart, but she was fired last week and believes many other nurses and staffers were fired for the same reason.
The nurse said she was called in at the end of her shift last Tuesday, fired on the spot and escorted out of the hospital.
She said she wasn’t asked any questions and never had a chance to offer an explanation. She said she never accessed the actor’s chart, but simply scrolled past it when looking for another patient’s name.
She’s appealing, and believes others may have been fired for simply scrolling past the name as well.
Smollett arrived at Northwestern on Jan. 29. He claimed was walking home from a Subway restaurant, in the 300 block of E. Lower North Water Street, around 2 a.m. when two offenders yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him.
Smollett said the offenders beat him, put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on the him.
CBS 2 reached out repeatedly to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for comment. A spokesperson said company policy prevents him from commenting on the employment status of any employees.
Police said the attack was a “publicity stunt” because Smollett was upset with his salary. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on bond.
Police said, in reality, Smollett had paid two men, Ola and Abel Osundairo, $3,500 by check to stage the attack, including pouring bleach on him and placing a noose around his neck. CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar has reported Smollett also directed the brothers to buy the noose at a hardware store and the hat and masks at a store in Uptown.
Police said the two brothers wore gloves during the staged attack, and did punch Smollett, but the scratches and bruises on Smollett’s face most likely were self-inflicted.