Charges against Jussie Smollett dropped


Prosecutors have dropped charges in their case against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.

The 36-year-old performer had been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report after he told Chicago police he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.

News of the stunning turn of events in the case came Tuesday after an emergency court hearing in Chicago.

"After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’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 Cook County State's Attorney's office told ITK in a statement.

"We standby the Chicago Police Department’s investigation and our decision to approve charges in this case," the statement continued.

“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,” Smollett’s attorneys said in a statement. “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."

The move to drop charges was the latest twist in a story that has taken countless wild turns.

Smollett had told Chicago police in January that he was assaulted by two men who beat him, placed a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him as they yelled racial and homophobic slurs. He later told authorities that the two alleged assailants also shouted the pro-Trump phrase, “This is MAGA country!”

But after originally saying they considered Smollett the victim of a "possible hate crime," Chicago police later accused the entertainer of arranging the attack against himself, paying two men to stage it.

“This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his [‘Empire’] salary,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in February during a blistering news conference.

Earlier this month, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts by a grand jury in Cook County, Ill.

Before the charges against him were announced, multiple 2020 Democratic presidential candidates had weighed in on Smollett’s story, referring to the alleged attack as a “modern-day lynching.”

President Trump, who had initially called the alleged attack “horrible,” later slammed Smollett, writing on Twitter to the actor, “what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!?”

The executive producers of Fox’s “Empire” had announced they were cutting Smollett from the last two episodes of the season in the wake of his arrest.

On Tuesday, a rep for 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment told ITK in a statement, “As of this time, the studio and network have no comment.”

“I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” Smollett told reporters on Tuesday. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was accused of.”

“I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this, I just wouldn’t.”

"I would like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life," Smollett said. "But make no mistakes: I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere."
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