CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess) Cook County prosecutors have dropped all charges against “Empire” actor and musician Jussie Smollett on disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a phony attack and claiming he was a victim of a hate crime.
“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,” the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a statement announcing the dismissal of all 16 counts, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A publicist for Smollett was the first to notify the news media of the decision Tuesday morning; there had been no indication that the prosecutors were going to make such a stunning reversal.
“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,” the statement said. “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,” 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 actor, who was free on $100,000 bail, denied lying to police or faking the attack.