Actor Jussie Smollett’s attorneys say that all criminal charges have been dropped after Smollett had an “emergency” court appearance in Cook County on Tuesday.
He had been charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct after Chicago police say he staged a racial and homophobic attack in the city in January. Those charges will be now be wiped from Smollett’s record.
After going over all the evidence, the Cook County Attorney’s Office said they are voluntarily discontinuing the case: “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.”
Following a court appearance, Jussie Smollett and his attorney Patricia Brown Holmes released this statement:
“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 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 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.”
“We believe that it was the correct result in this case, we are very happy for this result, and we are very anxious for Jussie to get on with his career and his life,” Holmes said.
“I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level, since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was accused of,” Smollett said.
Smollett said he is looking forward to focusing again on his career. No word if he plans to try to return to “Empire.”
Read the full text of Jussie Smollett’s statement to the media below:
“First of all, I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, for supporting me and showing me so much love.
No one will ever know how much that has meant to me and I will forever be grateful.
I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain.
I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level, since day one.
I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was accused of.
This has been an incredibly difficult time. Honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man of faith, and I’m a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through the fire like this, I just wouldn’t.
So I want to thank my legal counsel from the bottom of my heart.
And I would also like to thank the State of Illinois for attempting to do what’s right.
Now I’d like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life, but make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice and equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere.
So again, thank you for all the support. Thank you for faith, and thank you to God. Bless you all.
Thank you very much.”
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