June 18, 2019

Criminal Charges Dropped Against ‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

(JTA) —Criminal charges against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett have been dropped.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Chicago announced Tuesday that all the disorderly conduct charges alleging that Smollett lied to police about a racist and homophobic attack have been dropped. In addition, a judge agreed to grant a motion to seal the case and expunge Smollett’s record, according to reports.

Smollett had volunteered in the community and agreed to forfeit his $100,000 bond to be released from jail the day after he was charged on Feb. 20, the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement. It is not clear why the actor, who is Jewish, black and gay, had to forfeit his bond or what community service activities he performed.

The statement called it “a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”

“I have been truthful and consistent on every level since day one,” Smollett told reporters on Tuesday morning following the court hearing after thanking his family, friends and fans for supporting him and his version of events in the Jan. 29 attack in downtown Chicago.

Smollett’s attorneys said 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. … Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result.”

The actor’s attorneys did not respond when asked if he would sue the city of Chicago or the two Nigerian brothers, one who appears on “Empire,” who testified against him before a grand jury.

Smollett told police after the attack that two men “gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him” before attacking, pouring an “unknown chemical substance” on him and wrapping a rope around his neck.