Empire star Jussie Smollett, 36, spoke out Tuesday after Chicago prosecutors dismissed all the criminal charges associated with his February arrest. Last month, he was indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct charges after he was accused of staging a hate crime against himself and filing a false police report.
Smollett thanked his family and friends for supporting him through this choatic time and told them their support and encouragement was “not in vain.”
The actor and musician , who said he’d been “truthful and consistent” throughout the entire ordeal, graciously thanked the state of Illinois for “attempting to do what’s right.”
Patricia Brown Holmes, Smollett’s attorney, denied a question of “deferred prosecution” and said during the press conference she had “no idea why” the state “brought” charges against him. Holmes also said the prosecutor referred to Smollett as a “good, solid citizen of Chicago” during the hearing.
News of a potential update regarding Smollett’s case surfaced earlier today. Members of the news media were informed of an emergency hearing by a publicist for Smollett’s attorney but were not told the nature of the emergency.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the prosecutor’s office released a statement detailing the dismissal. “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.”
Judge Steven Watkins agreed with the prosecutor and allowed the dismissal. In addition, the judge ordered the public court filed be sealed.
Holmes released a statement in the wake of the dismissal. According to the news outlet, the statement said, “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.”
It further read, “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.”
Smollett was arrested and charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct
for staging a hate crime against himself and filing a fake police report in February. He was released on $100,000 bond after entering a not guilty plea.
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Jasmine Washington is a beauty-obsessed journalist by day and a trap music connoisseur by night. A lifelong New Yorker, she got her start as an intern at the now-defunct Juicy Magazine. Jasmine joined the EBONY.com team as a writer, penning daily stories on all things Black culture and entertainment.