Jussie Smollett is breathing a sigh of relief today. For, it’s just been announced that ALL 16 charges against the ‘Empire’ actor have been dropped in his “hoax” attack case.
As widely covered, the star was accused of faking a January beat-down, one he reported to police as being motivated by his race and sexuality. The investigation then turned to him and he was indicted last month.
Now, the entire case has been closed.
Find out why below…
A statement issued by Jussie’s team read:
“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 2 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.”
According to TMZ, a source close to Smollett revealed that the prosecution’s case had”disintegrated.”
Notable were the issues attached to $3,500 check received by the 2 brothers at the center of the prosecution’s case.
In a press conference, the Police Superintendent had claimed the money was payment for the fake attack, yet it appears it was indeed for physical training as Smollett had claimed all along.
Also interesting was the superintendent’s assertion during a televised media briefing that Smollett wrote that threatening letter he received six days prior to the attack himself. It was later clarified that it was yet to be determined where said letter came from.
Complicating matters more is that the dismissal was reportedly hinged on the fact that if convicted Smollett (who maintains innocence) would have only received community service. Yet, because he has already carried it out, there’d be no point in proceeding with prosecution. That part confuses in earnest as a) wasn’t he on the hook for jail time? and b) it’s not known when nor for what he carried out community service for.
Suffice to say, this is a shocker across the board.
More as it develops.
UPDATE 1 – Chicago State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has issued a statement saying:
“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.”
Update: 2 – Smollett’s family also issued a statement:
“Our son and brother is an innocent man whose name and character has been unjustly smeared. Jussie is a son, a brother, a partner, a champion for human rights, and a genuine soul who would never be capable of what he was falsely accused of. He was the victim of an assault and then falsely blamed for his own attack.
This morning truth has prevailed and he has been vindicated. All charges have been dismissed and his record expunged (cleared). The painful incidents we’ve witnessed him endure over the past 7 weeks have been heartbreaking and unjust to say the least. While many were quick to rush to judgement before hearing the actual truth, we are grateful that the truth about Jussie has come to light. We look forward to bringing the real perpetrators to justice. We thank God and our village for standing by us during this trying time.”
Update 3: The ‘Empire’ writers celebrated with: