Jussie Smollett’s “volunteer service in the community” and his “agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago” played roles in the decision for Cook County to drop charges against the “Empire” actor.
“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 State’s Attorneys office said on Tuesday.
The Smollett Family released the following statement shortly thereafter:
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.
In a surprising reversal, all charges against Smollett were dropped Tuesday morning. Earlier this month, the “Empire” actor plead not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct in a Chicago court.
Jussie Smollett’s attorney Patricia Brown Holmes said that “there was no deal” to get the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to drop the charges against the “Empire” star.
“There was no deal. The state dismissed the charges,” Holmes said Tuesday morning during a press conference outside the Cook County courthouse. She added that Smollett “voluntarily” agreed to forfeit his bond. “I don’t have information that the state would have as to why they dropped these charges.”
Smollett spoke shortly after Holmes, beginning by thanking all of his supporters. “I have been truthful and consistent on every 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,” he said. “This has been an incredibly difficult time. Honestly one of the worst of my entire life. But 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.”
Smollett concluded: “Now I’d like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life. But make no mistake, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere.”
Smollett was indicted by a Cook County grand jury on those 16 felony counts on March 8 after being accused of lying to police regarding a Jan. 29 incident, in which he said he was randomly attacked by two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs in his Chicago neighborhood. He was originally charged with one felony count for filing a false police report by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office last month.
During a press conference last month, hours after Smollett’s surrender on Feb. 21, Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the actor staged an attack on himself because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.” He also told reporters the police were in possession of a $3,500 check, which he said Smollett used to pay brothers Olabinjo (“Ola”) and Abimbola (“Abel”) Osundairo for the incident.