It is a GREAT day for Jussie Smollett and his fans! It seems that ALL the charges against him have been DROPPED!!!
The criminal case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett took a stunning turn Tuesday when Chicago prosecutors abruptly dropped all of the charges — after slapping him with 16 felony counts for allegedly staging a hate crime attack.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office only offered a vague explanation why it was allowing Smollett to skate free in the case following a surprise, five-minute court appearance in which Judge Steven Watkins sealed the case file.
“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’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,” the office said.
The move comes just a week after Chicago’s police union demanded a federal probe into the county’s top prosecutor for allegedly interfering in the case after being contacted by Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff.
The Fraternal Order of Police, which represents the department’s rank-and-file, sent a letter asking the Department of Justice to probe Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
Foxx tried to convince Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to turn Smollett’s case over to the FBI — after Tina Tchen, the former senior Obama aide, reached out to her, saying the “Empire” star’s family had “concerns.”
Foxx had recused herself from the case in February because she had reached out to one of Smollett’s relatives and acted as a go-between with the cops.
Although the charges against the 36-year-old — who was accused of staging a street attack on himself in a bid to secure a pay raise — will be wiped out, he will forfeit his posted bond of $10,000, which will be turned over to the City of Chicago Law Department.
After the hearing, one of Smollett’s two attorneys refuted earlier reports that a deal had been struck with prosecutors.
“There is no deferred prosecution. … The state dismissed the charges,” Patricia Brown Holmes said. “We believe it was the correct result. … We are very anxious for Jussie to get on with his life.”
First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats — who took over the case after Foxx recused herself — insisted Tuesday that dropping the charges does not mean Smollett was, in fact, the victim of a crime.
“Absolutely not. We stand behind the CPD investigation done in this case, we stand behind the approval of charges in this case,” Magats told the Sun-Times. “They did a fantastic job. The fact there was an alternative disposition in this case is not and should not be viewed as some kind of admission there was something wrong with the case, or something wrong with the investigation that the Chicago Police did.”
He said his office considered the incident a “nonviolent crime” and that Smollett has no felony criminal background.
“If you start looking at the disposition in the case, in every case you need to look at the facts and circumstances of the case, and the defendant’s background,” he added.
In a statement, Smollett’s attorneys Holmes and Tina Glandian said “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 29. 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,” they said.
“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,” they continued.
“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.”
On March 14, he pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct accusing him of lying to police when he told them two men unleashed a racist and homophobic attack on him in Chicago.
Prosecutors alleged that Smollett — who is black and gay and plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox TV show — hired two pals to help stage the attack on him early on the morning of Jan. 29.
Smollett’s family in a statement reiterated his innocence and slammed his skeptics.
“Our son and brother is an innocent man whose name and character has been unjustly smeared,” the family said. “Jussie is a son, a brother, a partner, a champion for human rights, and a genuine soul who would never be capable of what he was falsely accused of. He was the victim of an assault and then falsely blamed for his own attack. This morning truth has prevailed and he has been vindicated. All charges have been dismissed and his record expunged (cleared).
“The painful incidents we’ve witnessed him endure over the past 7 weeks have been heartbreaking and unjust to say the least. While many were quick to rush to judgement before hearing the actual truth, we are grateful that the truth about Jussie has come to light. We look forward to bringing the real perpetrators to justice. We thank God and our village for standing by us during this trying time.”
GOOD FOR HIM!!!! Now hopefully he can MOVE on with his LIFE!