The criminal case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been dropped. Smollett was being prosecuted for allegedly staging a hate crime attack on the morning of January 29. Per a statement made by Smollett’s attorney Patricia Brown Holmes, “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,” the statement continues. “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.”
Smollett was arrested by Chicago police and taken into custody on February 21. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at the time evidence in the case suggested the “Empire” actor faked the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.” Smollett reported January 29 that he had been attacked by two men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him and got physically violent with him. Smollett said the men put a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him.
Chicago police originally brought in two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, for questioning but they were released soon after as the investigation pivoted to Smollett being a suspect. The actor was named a suspect and charged with filing a fake police report on February 20. The Chicago Police Superintendent said Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
Smollett has maintained his innocence over the last several months. The actor will reportedly surrender his $10,000 bond and perform community service.
In a statement, the Smollett family said the following:
“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.”