“Empire” star Jussie Smollett can finally exhale. The TV actor will no longer face nearly 20 felony charges of disorderly conduct for making a false report from his Chicago hate crime attack.
According to reports, prosecutors dropped all charges against him Tuesday during a court appearance.
Smollett, 36, was seen arriving at a Chicago courtroom around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday for an emergency hearing. Following his court appearance, his attorneys released a statement saying that the actor’s “record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him.” (NBC News)
Jussie’s legal muscle also came forward to release a statement on the situation.
“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.” (Statement)
Earlier this month, Smollett pleaded not guilty to nearly 20 counts of disorderly conduct.
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Thursday in Cook County court to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a phony attack and claiming he was the victim of a hate crime. The plea of not guilty to charges of filing a phony police report came after Judge Steven Watkins was randomly assigned to preside over the high-profile case. (Chicago Tribune)
A few days ago, Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos went in-in on the Chicago Police Department over his headline-generating charges.
“The fact of an indictment was not unexpected. We knew that there is no way they would expose their evidence to a public airing and subject their witnesses to cross-examination. What is unexpected, however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie.” Geragos continues, “This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie’s privacy in tampering with his medical records. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption.” (TMZ)