In another dramatic turn in the hate crime attack case involving Empire star Jussie Smollett, it has been reported that all criminal charges against Smollett have been dropped.
The actor appeared in a Chicago court on Tuesday, March 26, where the decision was handed down.
“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,” Smollett’s attorneys, Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement Tuesday. “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 judgement.”
“Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions,” the statement continued. “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,” the statement concluded.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office also stated, “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’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.”
As previously reported, in late January Smollett transported himself the hospital and claimed he had been attacked by two men who were yelling racist and homophobic remarks at him as they battered Smollett and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
The case took its first dramatic turn after police apprehended and questioned the two suspects in the case Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo. The brothers were released hours later and a police spokesperson announced that “information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation.”
A press conference held by the Chicago Police Department then stated that Smollett had allegedly paid $3500 to have the attack staged because of his unhappiness with his salary and Smollett was arrested for filing a false police report.
Smollett maintained his innocence through all of the proceedings, even as he was removed from the final episodes of the fifth season of Empire. The actor and his family were quick to release statements after the announcement that the charges were dropped.