Empire star Jussie Smollett’s criminal charges are dropped
By Chad Kitundu and Agencies
Empire actor Jussie Smollett who was facing 16 felony counts for filing a false police report has been vindicated.
In January, the actor claimed that he was attacked and beaten by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs at him and had a noose placed around his neck.
Chicago police investigated the matter and after raiding the home of two brothers of Nigerian descent decided to proceed to charge Smollett for staging the attack.
Mr Smollett, 36, pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police.
Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped the charges against Mr Smollett.
The office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx 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.”
The city’s mayor denounced the prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges as a “whitewash of justice”.
He spoke to reporters, giving a statement on the outcome of the court proceedings.
“I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of doing what I was accused of,” said Smollett.
‘RECORD WIPED CLEAN’
Smollett’s attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes also explained in a statement that their client’s record had “been wiped clean.”
Mr Smollett stars as a gay musician on Fox’s drama series Empire, which follows the ups and downs of a family-owned hip-hop label.
The verified Twitter account of the writers’ team on Empire posted a celebratory tweet after Mr Smollett’s court appearance.
— Empire Writers (@EmpireWriters) March 26, 2019
Other celebrities also joined in.
TOLD YALL https://t.co/kE4WzjKTy1
— Questlove (In E flat) (@questlove) March 26, 2019
I’ll just put this right here. https://t.co/XVnDr9PraL
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 26, 2019
There are lots of things we apparently should not pre-judge before we have all the facts, like Jussie Smollett (all charges dropped?!) and the Mueller report (not yet public!!)
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 26, 2019
The Smollett announcement is yet another example of how our court system is broken. Lawyers look for loopholes and mistakes and then negotiate deals.
— devon sawa (@DevonESawa) March 26, 2019