“Empire” star Jussie Smollett‘s attorney is speaking out. Celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos has responded to a publicized indictment against the Hollywood actor over allegedly filing a false police report.
In a new statement, Geragos goes in-in on the Chicago Police Department over the 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)
According to reports, Jussie received criminal charges related to his publicized Chi-Town attack.
The indictment charges Smollett with 16 counts of disorderly conduct. Smollett’s attorneys said they have no statement at this time. He remains out on bail pending an arraignment Thursday. The counts in the indictment obtained by CNN say Smollett gave statements to a Chicago police officer after the incident and to a detective. Details in some of those statements were different, the indictment says. (CNN)
Recently, rap star Drake‘s dad Dennis Graham spoke up for Smollett amid his publicized attack and rumors suggesting he might have staged it.
“Jussie has been misunderstood. As a matter of fact, they know that. That story that came out about Jussie in Chicago is not true about Jussie. Jussie is a friend of mine, also. They have totally reconstructed his story.” (Variety)
According to reports, Jussie’s Jamal Lyon character will noticeably disappear from the upcoming season’s final episodes.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” said EPs Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer in a statement this morning in reference to the supposed assault of January 29 and the subsequent legal fallout. “Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply,” the producers added. “While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out. We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.” (Deadline)