Attorneys for Jussie Smollett said Tuesday that all criminal charges against the “Empire” actor and singer have been dropped. Smollett had been charged with falsifying a police report by claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
Charges filed by Chicago PD
Jussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, maintaining his innocence amid allegations that he faked a possible hate crime against himself earlier this year. Smollett’s legal team entered the plea Thursday at a courthouse in Chicago, while the Empire actor and singer looked on silently.
The judge also granted a motion to seal the record in the case, Patricia Brown Holmes, a Smollett lawyer, told reporters inside the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. She also said the actor voluntarily agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond to the city of Chicago.
Smollett made a brief statement after a hearing.
“I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me, who have shown me so much love,” Smollett said. “I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain. I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of.”
“This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life,” he continued. “But I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this.”
Smollett added: “I would like to thank my legal counsel and the state of Illinois for attempting to do what is right.”