Charges against actor Jussie Smollett have been dropped
The Empire cast member will appear in court in Chicago on Tuesday for an emergency hearing
Smollett’s lawyers announced the news in a statement where they said he was a ‘vilified’ victim
Smollett, 36, was facing up to 48 years behind bars on 16 felony counts of filing a false police report
Smollett will do community service as part of the plea deal
The charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett [L-R] have been dropped. He was facing up to 48 years behind bars on 16 felony counts of filing a false police report
The charges against Empire cast member, Jussie Smollett have been dropped. The actor is set to appear in court in Chicago on Tuesday for an emergency hearing.
Smollett’s lawyers announced the news in a statement where they claimed their client was a ‘vilified’ victim.
Smollett, 36, was facing up to 48 years behind bars on 16 felony counts of filing a false police report.
TMZ reports that it was part of a deal under which Smollett will perform community service.
He was initially indicted by prosecutors with just one charge but a grand jury added another 15 on to it for every time he allegedly lied to them regarding his knowledge of said attack.
Innocent OR complicit? Jussie Smollett [photo] had been charged with felony filing a false police report in Chicago. As part of his plea deal, Smollett will perform community service
In a statement on Tuesday morning, Smollett’s attorneys revealed the news.
‘Today, all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of the 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 judgement.
‘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 as 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 was accused of paying brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo [photo] to attack him outside his apartment at around 2am as he walked home from a Subway on Jan 29
The actor was accused of paying brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo to attack him on January 29 outside his apartment at around 2am as he walked home from a Subway.
He claimed that he did not recognize the attackers but said they called him a ‘f****t’, n****r’ and shouted: ‘This is MAGA country!’
For weeks, police insisted Smollett was still the victim but gradually, suspicion grew as details of the probe were leaked including the fact that he had not agreed to hand over his phone for police to search.
Eventually, on February 21, Smollett was arrested.
In a blistering press conference, he was eviscerated by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson who accused him of lying about the attack to leverage it to get a raise on Empire.
Smollett denied it angrily and posted bail but prosecutors were confident.
They took the unusual step of publishing his full bond proffer which detailed all the evidence they said they had against him, including phone calls between him and the brothers before and after the attack.
They also used a check he’d given them, purportedly for personal training, as apparent proof that he paid them for the attack.
Smollett was excluded from the final two episodes of Empire as a result of the scandal.