Attorneys for Empire actor Jussie Smollett announced Tuesday morning that charges alleging he filed a false report with Chicago police regarding a hate crime against himself have been dropped.
Smollett attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement that the actor’s record “has been wiped clean.” Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs in downtown Chicago on January 29. Police and prosecutors have said the black and gay actor falsely reported to authorities that he was attacked because he was unhappy with his pay on the Fox show and to promote his career.
The announcement followed a surprise appearance by Smollett in a Chicago court earlier Tuesday.
— Rafer Weigel (@RaferWeigel) March 26, 2019
“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 judgment,” Smollett’s lawyers said in a statement. “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.”
TMZ reports: “Jussie will surrender his $10,000 bond. We’re told he has agreed to perform community service. A source close to Jussie says the prosecution’s case “disintegrated.” As we reported, there were issues with the $3,500 check the 2 brothers received from Jussie. The Police Superintendent had said the money was payment for the fake attack, but it appears it was actually for physical training.”
A spokeswoman for Cook County prosecutors didn’t immediately respond to messages requesting comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.