All Charges Against Jussie Smollett Have Been Dropped

All Charges Against Jussie Smollett Have Been Dropped

Prosecutors have dropped all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack.

Smollett attended a court hearing in Chicago on Tuesday, where a judge reportedly sealed the case. Earlier this month, he had pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police.

The actor thanked his supporters outside court after the hearing.

He said, “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. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life.”

He further vowed that he would continue to “fight for the betterment of the lives of marginalised people everywhere.”

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said in a statement: “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.”

But according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago police Supt Eddie Johnson was not briefed on the decision to drop the charges. He only learned of the surprise decision while attending a police academy graduation ceremony, according to the city newspaper. A police department source told the Sun-Times that Supt Johnson was “furious” and that the case against Smollett was “rock solid.”

Jussie Smollett voluntarily agreed to give up his $10,000 (£7,500) bond money, his lawyer said, and emphasized that there had been no deal with the state over dismissing the charges. His attorneys, Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes, said in a statement that their client’s record “has been wiped clean.”

“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,” the lawyers said. “Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. The entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion.”

Jussie Smollett said he was attacked in the early hours on January 29 in downtown Chicago outside a sandwich shop by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him and put a rope round his neck. He claimed they shouted “This is Maga country”, a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan, and that at least one of the assailants was white. But Chicago police said Smollett, 36, paid two brothers, both of whom are black, $3,500 to stage the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on the TV show.

But Smollett’s lawyer said outside court on Tuesday that the cheque was for nutrition and physical training. Ms. Holmes also alleged that the two Osundairo brothers, who apologised for “their involvement in this situation” earlier this month, were Smollett’s attackers.

“We already know who attacked him,” Holmes told reporters. “The two brothers have said that they attacked him.”

She could not offer a reason as to why the case “seemed to spiral somewhat out of control” but lambasted Chicago police for not allowing the state to properly look into the incident. “You should allow investigation, and allow the state to investigate a charge before you go to the press,” Holmes said.

Jussie Smollett’s family said in a statement to US media on Tuesday that the actor had been vindicated.

“Jussie is a son, a brother, a partner, a champion for human rights, and a genuine soul who would never be capable of what he was falsely accused of,” said their statement. “He was the victim of an assault and then falsely blamed for his own attack. This morning, truth has prevailed and he has been vindicated. All charges have been dismissed and his record expunged (cleared). The painful incidents we’ve witnessed him endure over the past 7 weeks have been heartbreaking and unjust to say the least.

“While many were quick to rush to judgement before hearing the actual truth, we are grateful that the truth about Jussie has come to light. We look forward to bringing the real perpetrators to justice. We thank God and our village for standing by us during this trying time.”

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4 Comments

  1. OgheneTobore
    March 26, 20:45 Reply

    Just because all charges are dropped but make the defendant innocent. Case in point, Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson and so many others.

    • Net
      March 26, 21:31 Reply

      And just because he’s a suspect doesn’t make him guilty

      • Delle
        March 27, 08:25 Reply

        Like it’s really very funny (almost appalling) how we are so quick to dismiss this “other” side. Almost as though there’s a vendetta against him that has nothing to do with this case. NO SOLIDARITY WHATSOEVER!

        Nna eh…

  2. Kvng
    March 27, 12:06 Reply

    Thank God he is free, but I don’t believe one bit that he staged such an attack on himself, its pure rubbish. From the look of things, it seems like a set up. He stands to gain nothing from such an attack that almost claimed his life. He has fame, money, enough attention, and is still rising in the industry, it’s no coincidence that the attackers were shouting MAGA country.
    With all this drama going on, even the perpetrators have not been punished, which makes all this even more fishy. Even if he set himself up, at least there would have bin a clip or something to show but instead he was charged to court for some rubbish which are irrelevant.
    Abeg, which person will pay money to get beaten to the inch of life, poured bleach on and have a rope tied to his neck, NOBODY. The brothers are free, no charges against them whatsoever for even being part of a set up (if it truly was a set up), for violating human rights and for violence.
    All these tins happened to him bcos he is a gay activist living under a homophobic president, Donald Trump.

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