Prosecutors announced Tuesday they are dropping all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett, after he was accused of filing a fake police report and staging a hate crime against himself.
Following an emergency hearing, prosecutors said they are dropping all 16 charges against him. In all, he faced up to 48 years in prison.
Smollett, who is openly gay and black, claimed he was attacked on January 29 around 2 AM by two unknown assailants who beat him, shouted homophobic slurs at him, threw bleach at him, and placed a noose around his neck.
Two men suspected of the attack claimed to have been hired by Smollett to attack him and had purchased a noose, a red hat, and masks at his behest at a hardware store in uptown Chicago.
A judge overseeing the case granted a motion to seal details of the case.
An attorney for Smollett said he was vindicated after being tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion.
“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. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. 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.”
“Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. 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.”
“Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.”
Smollett all the while maintained his innocence and stuck to his story.
State Attorney Kim Foxx’s office wrote they dropped Smollett’s charges after a review of the facts and his completion of “volunteer service in the community”:
“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.”
Chicago Police were reportedly blindsided by the news.
Sources tell CBS2 Chicago Police Supt. Johnson is “furious.”
He had no heads up this was going to happen.@cbschicago
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) March 26, 2019
Alex gives his take on who he believes may benefit from this hoax hate crime.