All charges have been dropped against Empire actor Jussie Smollett stemming from accusations he staged an alleged early morning hate crime attack against himself on a Chicago sidewalk in January, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office confirms to PEOPLE.
“After reviewing all 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,” reads a statement from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office obtained by PEOPLE.
The office did not, however, fully retreat from its initial decision to bring charges against Smollett or otherwise address PEOPLE’s inquiry on whether prosecutors still believe he staged the attack, saying in a followup statement: “We stand by the Chicago Police Department’s investigation and our approval of charges.”
It was not immediately clear whether Smollett forfeited the $10,000 he put up to post bail or his full $100,000 bond.
Smollett’s attorneys, Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes, released a statement to PEOPLE saying, “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 added, “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,” it continued. “This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. This is wrong. It is a reminder that the victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result.”
Smollett ‘Adamantly’ Maintained Innocence
Smollett earlier had pleaded not guilty to allegations that he lied to police when he said he was attacked by two men in what authorities later claimed was a staged incident to draw attention to himself.
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