Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett made headlines after he claimed to be the victim of a hate crime earlier this year. This week, the actor’s attorneys announced that the charges for this particular crime have been dropped, surprising many in both the media and the law enforcement community after the actor was indicted for falsely reporting an attack.
Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes, Smollett’s attorneys, released a statement about the case and stated that the actor now has a clean record:
“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,” the statement read.
His initial claim described an attack on him in the middle of downtown Chicago in January. Smollett claimed that he was attacked for being gay and black. Authorities allege that he orchestrated the attack to get more attention and to improve his pay rate for his work on Empire. His attorneys stated that the accusations against Smollett were unfair.
“Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions,” the attorneys said. “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.”
This comes after the actor essentially admitted to faking the entire thing, which led to a brief public discussion about his mental health — which many on the left said should alleviate whatever punishment he would face.
On January 29, Smollett reported to police that he had been attacked by two white men wearing MAGA hats. He claimed the men used racial and homophobic slurs, and that they physically assaulted him. The men police arrested were different from the attackers Smollett described, but they were captured on video committing the crime. Police later discovered connections between Smollett and his attackers, and questioned the authenticity of the crime.
The men who police alleged had committed the crime were connected with Smollet via the Empire television program, and had communicated with him by phone prior to the attack. In addition, the men were paid $3,500 in a personal check signed by the actor, which police have acquired as evidence. Smollett’s team claimed the money was for physical training, not for a hoax attack.
“Jussie will surrender his $10,000 bond,” TMZ reported. “We’re told he has agreed to perform community service. A source close to Jussie says the prosecution’s case “disintegrated.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPD leaders were outraged by the dropping of the charges, and spoke out against the prosecutor’s actions. According to the New York Times, these organizations felt the charges were justified, and there was enough detail to bring the actor to trial.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter