Chicago prosecutors drop all charges against Jussie Smollett


Jussie Smollett on ‘Good Morning America.’ (Screenshot via YouTube)

Prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois have dropped all charges against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett. On March 14, Smollett was indicted by a grand jury on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false report. He pled not guilty.

Smollett was summoned to an emergency court hearing at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday where State Attorney Kim Foxx told him that all charges against him had been dropped and his record expunged. Smollett forfeited his bond and the judge also granted a motion to seal the case from the public.

The Office of Cook County State’s Attorney released a statement saying: “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”

Smollett’s attorneys also released a statement saying: “Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement. Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result. Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.”

Smollett claimed in January that he was physically and verbally attacked by two men in an alleged homophobic and racist attack. After Chicago police began investigating the case, they claimed that Smollett orchestrated the attack because he was dissatified with his salary. Police said Smollett paid $3,500 to brothers Olabinjo (“Ola”) and Abimbola (“Abel”) Osundairo to fake the attack. Police also claimed that Smollett had sent a threatening homophobic and racist letter to himself at the studio where “Empire” is filmed. Smollett did write a check to the brothers for $3,500 but it was determined to be for physical training. The letter is also still under investigation by the FBI.

Fox had “no comment” on the latest developments but the “Empire” writers showed their support on Twitter. Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon was cut from the final two episodes of the season due to Smollett’s legal troubles.

Smollett spoke publicly about the case for the first time since his “Good Morning America” appearance shortly after his charges were dropped. 

“I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of,” Smollett addressed reporters. “I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me.”

Published at Tue, 26 Mar 2019 16:13:51 +0000