WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- All charges against ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett have been dropped, according to prosecutors and his attorneys.
- Smollett had been accused of staging an attack and filing a false police report about it just a month ago.
- Although the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office didn’t explain why the charges were dropped, they say that the decision came after reviewing all the facts, and in view of Smollett’s agreement to forfeit his $10,000 bond.
In a shocking reversal, Chicago prosecutors dropped all charges against Jussie Smollett on Tuesday, just weeks after he was indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report about being attacked.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said that the felony disorderly conduct charges were dropped after reviewing all the facts, and in view of Smollett’s agreement to forfeit his $10,000 bond. One of his lawyers said that parts of the case will be sealed.
The state’s attorney’s office released this 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.”
On Tuesday morning, the “Empire” actor said he was thankful to everyone who stood by him, and that he wouldn’t have put his family “through a fire like this” for a lie.
“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,” the 36-year-old actor said in a short statement before he left the court building.
CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos, one of Smollett’s attorneys, said the actor maintains his innocence and called the indictment “prosecutorial overkill.”
“This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines,” the lawyer said.
Smollett remains out on bail pending an arraignment Thursday.
In January, the openly gay actor reported to police that he had been attacked in Chicago. The police’s initial investigation thought the case as a possible hate crime.
“Empire” producers decided to remove Smollett’s character, Jamal, from the final two episodes of the season. They said that the decision was made to “avoid further disruption on set.”