Charges Dropped Against Jussie Smollett in Alleged Hate Crime Hoax

Playing Chicago Prosecutors Drop All Charges Against ‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett

Charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped Tuesday. 

Smollett, 36, told reporters that this time has been "the worst of my entire life" and that he has been "truthful and consistent" throughout the investigation.

"I would not bring my family ... through a fire like this," he said. "I will always continue to fight for the justice and equality ... of marginalized people everywhere."

Police had said the "Empire" actor filed a false police report when he claimed he was attacked by two masked men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him before putting a noose around his neck in Chicago on Jan. 29.

Smollett's attorney Patricia Brown Holmes also spoke to reporters, saying that Smollett "is a very sweet individual" who can now move on with his life and career.

"We got to a result that is the right result in this case and we're happy," Holmes said.

Holmes and Smollett's other attorney Tina Glandian added in a written statement that Smollett's 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 reads. "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," the statement continues. "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," the statement continued.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office said in its own statement: “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."

In February, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson claimed in a searing press conference that Smollett committed the alleged crime "for personal gain" and added that he owes an "apology to the city he smeared."

"Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process," Johnson said. "And why? The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary. So he concocted a story about being attacked."

Johnson, speaking later on Tuesday, said he did not believe justice had been served in the case and slammed the state's attorney's office for its decision. "I think this city is still owed an apology," he said. 

He added: "I stand behind the detectives' investigation."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel echoed Johnson's remarks. "This is a whitewash," he said. "... Our officers did hard work day in and day out ... working to unwind what actually happened that night."

Emanuel added: "That work, a piece of that work, was shown to a grand jury and [they indicted Smollett]."

He concluded: "It is wrong, full stop."

Smollett has always maintained his innocence. 

“I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family. I swear to God, I did not do this,” Smollett tearfully told the cast and crew of "Empire" before he was suspended from the show by Fox.

RELATED STORIES

Jussie Smollett's Attorney Says There Is a 'Lot of Misinformation' in Alleged Hate Crime Hoax

Jussie Smollett Wrote $3,500 Check to Brothers Before Alleged Attack: Cops

What Does the Future Hold for Jussie Smollett's Career?