On Tuesday, prosecutors and attorneys for Jussie Smollett said all charges against the actor — who had been accused of staging a hate crime and filing a false police report about it — have been dropped. It is a dramatic reversal in a case in which Chicago police alleged just last month that the 36-year-old “Empire” actor hired two acquaintances to attack him in late January to promote his career.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said that the decision came after reviewing the case’s facts, and in view of Smollett’s agreement to forfeit his $10,000 bond. Parts of the case will be sealed, one of Smollett’s attorneys said. The 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.”
Smollett, after a brief appearance in a Chicago courtroom where his charges were dropped, told reporters Tuesday morning he was thankful to everyone who stood by him, adding: “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 was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, and had pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied any involvement in orchestrating an attack.