(UPDATED with more details and State Attorney, Chicago Police & family statement)
Jussie Smollett’s lawyers announced today that all criminal charges have been dropped and his record expunged. However, the Illinois law enforcement aren’t letting the Empire actor off totally free.
“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,” attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement provided to media outlets. “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.”
“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,” said state attorney Kim Foxx’s office in a statement of their own.
It is unclear what community service the actor performed and why he is letting the state keep his $100,000 that was posted on
“Our son and brother is an innocent man whose name and character have been unjustly smeared. 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 the truth has prevailed, and he has been vindicated. All charges have been dismissed, and his record has been expunged (cleared). The painful incidents we’ve witnessed him endure over the past seven weeks have been heartbreaking and unjust to say the least. While many were quick to rush to judgment before hearing the actual proof, 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 for our village and standing by us during this trying time.”
“All questions regarding Jussie Smollett need to be directed to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office,” a spokesperson for the Chicago Police informed Deadline. At the same time, a law enforcement source says officials are “furious” with Foxx’s office over the deal to drop the Smollett charges
Smollett and his attorneys are expected to speak to the media at 10:45 AM local time in Chicago.
The Empire actor was arrested on multiple felony charges last month for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself, accusations which Smollett adamantly denied. He also was accused of sending a threatening letter to himself, which was received at Cinespace Studios a week before the alleged attack.
While State charges have been dropped, a federal investigation of the apparently threatening letter sent to Smollett will continue because it’s a different jurisdiction and involves the US mail.
The actor who plays the openly gay Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox series was written out of the last two episodes of Empire‘s current fifth season following his arrest and subsequent charges.