‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett won’t be facing charges after he was accused of lying to police by saying he was the victim of an alleged attack that took place in Chicago.
CBS Chicago reports, Smollett was accused of faking a hate crime by paying two brothers to stage a racially motivated assault in January. He pled not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct charges.
On Tuesday, less than one week after Smollett denied the allegations, prosecutors dropped the charges against the actor, and his record has been “wiped clean.”
Smollett thanked Cook County prosecutors for “attempting to do what’s right.” He said in a news conference:
“I would not be my mothers son if I was capable of doing what I was accused of. I’d like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life, but make no mistakes I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere.”
“I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain, I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man of a 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.”
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office issued a statement following the hearing:
“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.”
There was no trial to prove his guilt or innocence. Legal experts told ABC 7 that the case being dropped by the state’s attorney office doesn’t mean that police have cleared Smollett of the allegations made against him.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his city’s police force denounced the prosecutors’ decision as a “whitewash of justice.” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said:
“[This case] sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power you’ll be treated one way and if you’re not you’ll be treated another way.”
Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago.
He will not be prosecuted for allegedly filing a false police report.
Watch the video below: