All criminal charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped, weeks after he was accused of staging a hate crime, RadarOnline.com has learned.
The actor and his lawyers appeared in a Chicago court this Tuesday, March 26, where he was facing 16 felony counts of lying to police in his alleged racial and homophobic attack.
In a statement to Radar, the fired Empire actor’s attorneys, Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes, said “his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him.”
“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,” the statement continued.
Radar readers recall police accused Smollett, 36, of planning and staging the crime after they failed to find enough evidence pointing to the attackers.
Sources suggested the star may have wanted to plant himself as a victim in order to keep himself from getting cut from Empire.
The star denied the claims made against him all along, and pled not guilty to all charges earlier this month.
“Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions,” the statement continued. “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.”
The attorney added that Smollett 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.”
He will surrender his $10,000 bond, and has agreed to perform community service.
In a press conference after his court appearance, Smollett spoke out to fans.
“Hey, everybody,” he began. “First of all, I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago, and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me, who have shown me so much love. No one will ever know how much that’s meant to me and I will be forever grateful. I want you to know not for a moment was it in vain. I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”
The actor, who’s maintained his innocence from the very start, continued.
“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 it I am a man of faith and a man of knowledge of history and I wouldn’t bring my family through this, I just wouldn’t,” he said.
The star — who was fired from Empire after being accused of misleading police in the investigation — then went on to thank his legal team.
“I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere. Again, thank you for all the support, thank you for faith, and thank you to god. Bless you all. Thank you very much,” he concluded.