Jesse Jackson Jr. says he feels 'attacked from all angles'

An emotionally raw Jesse Jackson Jr. said Monday that he feels "attacked from all angles" — by a wife in Washington, D.C., who wants his "whole disability check" in their bitter divorce case, and by the Chicago media that thinks he "doesn't...

Jesse Jackson Jr. says he feels 'attacked from all angles'

An emotionally raw Jesse Jackson Jr. said Monday that he feels "attacked from all angles" — by a wife in Washington, D.C., who wants his "whole disability check" in their bitter divorce case, and by the Chicago media that thinks he "doesn't...

27 February 2017 Monday 16:03
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Jesse Jackson Jr. says he feels 'attacked from all angles'

An emotionally raw Jesse Jackson Jr. said Monday that he feels "attacked from all angles" — by a wife in Washington, D.C., who wants his "whole disability check" in their bitter divorce case, and by the Chicago media that thinks he "doesn't even deserve a disability check."

Speaking to the media for the first time since he was released from federal prison for misusing his campaign fund to buy luxuries, including celebrity memorabilia, Jackson said he deserved the $138,400 a year in federal workers' compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance payments he has been receiving since he quit Congress to deal with mental health issues because, "I earned it."

The disability payments have become a topic of controversy since the Chicago Tribune recently revealed their existence. On Friday, an ethics expert called for them to be federally investigated.

But that wasn't all that got Jackson fired up Monday. In a bizarre section of a 10-minute speech he gave outside divorce court, he also said he had last month tried to subpoena former police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and two other men in his divorce case "because I don't want my children to ever walk through a grocery store line and see what I found and look at what we know exists."

Jackson's claim that he wanted to keep what he knows about McCarthy, McCarthy's former business partner Richard Simon and former Chicago cop James Love, out of the "tabloid" media was a strange one, given that his decision to file a subpoena spurred a slew of stories last month about their possible involvement in his marriage.

But wearing a Batman belt with his somber business suit, Jackson asked the media and the Chicago public to go easy on him through what he said he hopes is his "final public" ordeal.

Describing the strains that his incarceration has placed on his family, he said "I don't get to run from it or hide from it, because of who I am."

How Jesse Jackson Jr. collects $138,400 a year from the federal government Katherine Skiba

Records from former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s divorce case show how he has been able to collect hefty benefit checks from the federal government after serving time in prison for looting hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign fund.

Jackson, 51, receives about $138,400 a year — more...

Records from former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s divorce case show how he has been able to collect hefty benefit checks from the federal government after serving time in prison for looting hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign fund.

Jackson, 51, receives about $138,400 a year — more...

(Katherine Skiba)

He added, "I have a 13-year-old son who's aware of many of the issues, and he said, 'Don't worry, Daddy, these individuals are going to take care of Mommy,' and it was hard for me to hear that."

"Maybe if my name were not Jesse Jackson Jr. and maybe if I wasn't your former representative in the Congress of the United States, maybe I could walk in and out of this building like other families who have this struggle and don't have to read about it in the morning."

Jackson was speaking after his attempt to subpoena McCarthy and the other men — all of whom deny having any relationship whatsoever with Sandi Jackson — was postponed, potentially indefinitely by Cook County Judge Carole Bellows, who wants to deal with the issue of the Jacksons' residency first. Sandi wants the case heard in Washington, while Jesse wants the case heard in Chicago.

The next hearing in the case is April 3.

kjanssen@chicagotribune.com

Twitter@kimjnews

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