In a surprising about face, Cook County prosecutors dropped all 16 charges against Jussie Smollett today (March 26). He was accused of staging a hate crime and filing a false police report, per the Chicago Tribune. The case will reportedly be sealed. Moments after the ruling, Smollett’s attorneys issued a statement:
“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,” the statement said. “Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29. 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.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx issued a statment on the decision: “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,” Foxx said.
Smollett and his legal team also addressed reporters in a courthouse hallway. “I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” Smollett said. “It’s been an incredibly difficult time. One of the worst of my entire life…. Now I would like nothing more than to just to get back to work and get on with my life.”