“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is breathing easier today.
On Tuesday morning, Smollett appeared at an emergency hearing in Chicago, a few weeks after pleading not guilty to charges that he lied to the police about his alleged attack in January.
All the charges against Smollett were dropped. His lawyer said, "There is no deferred prosecution. The state dismissed the charges. We believe it was the correct result. We are very anxious for Jussie to get on with his life.”
Smollett will forfeit his $10,000 bond.
His legal team said in a 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 2 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 judgment."
His team continued, “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.”
Cook County prosecutors said in a 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.”
After the charges were dropped, Smollett said, "This have been an incredibly difficulty time, one of the worst of my entire life. I have been truthful and constant on every level from day one..I would not bring my family or our lives through the fire like this.”
His family added, "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."
Smollett will be appearing on this week's episode of "Empire." Fox released their own statement, saying, "Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed.”