Prosecutors in Chicago say they have dropped charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett – who faced 16 counts for allegedly faking an attack on himself and then reporting it to police as a hate crime – but police will keep a $10,000 bond he posted.
CBS reported early Tuesday the Cook County state’s attorney’s office released an email explaining it had reviewed the facts and circumstances, “including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond.”
A spokesman for the actor claimed the agreement would allow Smollett’s record to be expunged.
“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 judgement (sic),” Smollett spokeswoman Anne Kavanaugh emailed.
“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.”
Smollett spoke briefly after the development.
“I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago and all over the country, in the world, who have prayed for me and supported me and who have shown me so much love,” he said.
“No one will ever know how much that has meant to me and I will forever be grateful. 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 was accused of. This is been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life. I am a man of faith and have knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this.
“Now I would like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life,” he said, adding “But make no mistake, I will always continue to fight for justice and equality for marginalized people everywhere.
“Thank you for the support, faith and thank you to god. Bless you all.”
Details of the deal that removed the charges remained concealed, but several sides of the controversy were expected to issue statements Tuesday, even though CBS reported a judge sealed the case.
Authorities accused Smollett of sending himself a death threat and then arranging with two acquaintances to stage an attack on him that he could report to police as a hate crime. He wanted the attention because he was dissatisfied with his pay on the “Empire” program, authorities said.
A spokesman for Smollett said the state moved to dismiss the case and seal it.
Patricia Brown Holmes, Smollett’s attorney, said there was no deal. The prosecution dropped charges and Smollett gave up the $10,000, she said.
He had faced 16 counts stemming from his statement he was hit by two men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs, and poured bleach on him.
Police, when announcing the case, said that in reality, Smollette had paid Ola and Abel Osundairo to stage the attack.
Holmes said the $3,500 Smollett paid the brothers was for “nutrition and training.”
Smollett thanked his supporters.
He said he would not do what he was accused of doing.
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said the dismissal sends a clear message.
“Any leftist activist to whatever degree deranged and imbalanced … can now fake hate crimes against Trump supporters .. they can lie to the police … and apparently walk away scot-free,” Limbaugh said. “Can you say leftist privilege in the Cook County legal system?”
“Isn’t it clear now that some people are more equal than others?” Limbaugh continued. “It does appear that there is a two-tiered justice system here and the reason the charges are dropped have nothing to do with the fact they weren’t true.”
He wondered aloud: “What and which officials played a role in wiping this off the books? How did this happen?”
Read more at https://www.wnd.com/2019/03/charges-dropped-against-jussie-smollett/#wFur67JdRovGlBib.99