Cook County prosecutors have dropped all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett involving allegations he paid two men to stage a hate crime against him.
“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’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,” the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said in statement following a hearing Tuesday morning.
Jussie Smollett had faced 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly paying two men to fake an attack against him near his Chicago home back in January. Smollett pleaded not guilty on March 14 to the charges.
Smollett’s attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes issued a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times after the hearing:
“Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29. 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 judgment.
“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.”