In a stunning reversal, Chicago prosecutors on Tuesday dropped all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett just weeks after he was indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly filing a false police report.
Smollett, 36, was seen arriving at a Chicago courtroom around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday for an emergency hearing. Following his court appearance, his attorneys released a statement saying that the actor’s “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 read.
“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.”
Smollett was charged earlier this month by a grand jury of 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report, according to a criminal complaint.
In February, he was charged with felony disorderly conduct after Chicago officers said he orchestrated his own alleged hate crime on himself in January because he was unhappy with his salary on the show “Empire.”
His role on the Fox series, where he played Jamal Lyon, was cut from the final episodes of the fifth season “to avoid further disruption on set,” the show’s executive producers said in a joint statement on Feb. 22.
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