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All charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped

The 'Empire' actor claimed he was hospitalised following a racist and homophobic attack

2019-03-26

Prosecutors have dropped all charges against Jussie Smollett, lawyers for the star have confirmed.

The Empire star, 36, pleaded not guilty earlier this month to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police in relation to an alleged racist and homophobic attack in January.

Smollet attended a court hearing in Chicago on Tuesday (26 March), where a judge sealed the case.

"I've been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I been accused of," Smollett said outside court.

"I want nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life. Make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalised people everywhere."

The Cook County State's Attorney's office said in a statement: "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".

Attorneys for Smollet said the actor's record had been "wiped clean of this tragic case against him."

A statement read: "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."

Smollett, who stars as gay rapper Jamal Lyon in Fox drama series Empire, was hospitalised following the alleged attack in Chicago on 29 January.

The actor claimed two white men tied a rope around his neck, poured a corrosive substance over him and made reference to President Donald Trump's 2016 election slogan 'Make America Great Again'.

Chicago Police later arrested two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, who they claimed Smollett had paid $3500 to stage the attack because he ws unhappy with his salary on Empire.

The brothers, who were both black and had appeared on Empire as extras, had also worked twith Smollett as personal trainers.

Lawyers for Smollett said the payment had been for fitness training. 

A representative Ola and Abel Osundairo's legal team said the brothers' lawyers were reviewing the latest developments, NBC Chicago reports.