Jussie Smollett is in the clear. TMZ is reporting that the Empire star will not be prosecuted on any of the 16 felony counts for allegedly faking a racial attack in January 2019.
Smollett appeared in a Chicago courtroom for an emergency hearing this morning, the AJC reports where it was decided that he will not face any criminal charges for lying to police in the alleged racial and homophobic attack.
Smollett’s previous community service was taken into consideration and he must surrender his $10,000 bond as restitution, but otherwise, the case and the situation appears to be over.
Many had been speculating that Smollett’s appearance may have had something to do with his attorney Mark Geragos who was named as a co-conspirator in damning Nike extortion case involving another high-profile attorney Michael Avenatti.
But in a surprising turn, Smollett was exonerated. In a statement to Variety, his legal team stated.
“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. 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 judgment. 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.”
Jussie Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes addressed the media at the Cook County courthouse following the announcement.
“Today as you have figured out, the state made a motion to drop the charges against Jussie Smollett and to seal the record in this case,” she told reporters.
“We believe that it was the correct result in this case. We’re very happy for this result. And we are very anxious for Jussie to get on with his career and his life and to move forward.”
Smollett then followed with a statement that began with him thanking his family and friends who supported him throughout the process.
“I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I were capable of one drop I have been accused of,” he told reporters.
He added, “This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worse of my entire life but I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and would not bring my family our lives or the movement through a fire like this.”
Smollett then went on to thank his legal counsel and the state of Illinois for attempting to do what they thought was right.