Path 27
News

Prosecutors Drop All 16 Charges Against Jussie Smollett

Path 27

Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett said Tuesday that charges alleging he lied to police about a racist and homophobic attack have been dropped.

Smollett attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement that Smollett’s record “has been wiped clean.”

The actor, who is black and gay, was indicted on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men.

A spokeswoman for Cook County, Illinois, prosecutors didn’t immediately respond to messages requesting comment.

However, WBBM-TV in Chicago reported the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said in an email, “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.”

Trending:
Democratic Congressman Arrested by Capitol Police

Police and prosecutors have said the black and gay actor falsely reported to authorities that he was attacked around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29 in downtown Chicago because he was unhappy with his pay on the Fox show and to promote his career.

Smollett plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox TV show that follows a black family navigating the ups and downs of the recording industry.

Smollett reported that he had been attacked on his way home from a sandwich shop.

He said two masked men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs, poured bleach on him, beat him and looped a rope around his neck.

Do you agree with the decision to drop the charges against Smollett?

Smollett claimed they shouted, “This is MAGA country” — a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

He asserted that he could see one of the men was white because he could see the skin around his eyes.

Police said Smollett hired two men, both of whom are black, to attack him. Smollett paid the men $3,500, according to police.

The men are brothers Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, and one of them had worked on “Empire.”

An attorney for the brothers said they agreed to help Smollett because of their friendship with him and the sense that he was helping their careers.

Related:
Jussie Smollett Heads to Court on New Charges, Claims He's Being Forced Into a 'Dog and Pony Show'

Smollett’s spokeswoman said Tuesday his record would be “fully expunged.”

“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,” spokeswoman Anne Kavanaugh said in an email, according to WBBM. “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 judgement.

“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.

“Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.”

Police have also said that before the attack, Smollett sent a letter that threatened him to the Chicago studio where “Empire” is shot.

The FBI, which is investigating that letter, has declined to comment on the investigation.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , ,
Path 27
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation