Jussie Smollett's Criminal Charges Dropped in Attack Case

Details on the court update in the Empire star's legal proceedings

By Jess Cohen Mar 26, 2019 3:28 PMTags
Watch: Jussie Smollett's Criminal Charges Dropped in Attack Case

Criminal charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped.

The Empire star appeared in Chicago court on Tuesday morning, where the charges against him were dropped in the case involving his attack in late January.

"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," Smollett's attorneys, Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement Tuesday. "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."  

"Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions," the statement continued. "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."

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The statement concluded, "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."

Of the charges being dropped, the Cook County State's Attorney's office tells E! News, "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."

Amanda Seitz/AP/Shutterstock

The office also released an additional statement, saying, "In the last two years, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office has referred more than 5,700 cases for alternative prosecution. This is not a new or unusual practice. An alternative disposition does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities with the case or the evidence. We stand behind the Chicago Police Department's investigation and our decision to approve charges in this case. We did not exonerate Mr. Smollett. The charges were dropped in return for Mr. Smollett's agreement to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago. Without the completion of these terms, the charges would not have been dropped. This outcome was met under the same criteria that would occur for and is available to any defendant with similar circumstances."

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Following Tuesday's court appearance, Smollett thanked everyone for their support in a press conference.

"First of all I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago and all over the county and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me and  shown me so much love," Smollett 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've been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of doing one drop of what I was accused of."

Amanda Seitz/AP/Shutterstock

"This has been an incredibly difficult time. Honestly, one of the worst in my entire life but I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge and I would not bring my family, our lives or the moment through a fire like this," he continued. "So I want to thank my legal counsel from the bottom of my heart and I would also like to thank the state of Illinois for attempting to do what's right."

"Now I would like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life but make no mistakes I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere,"Smollett concluded. "So again thank you for all the support, thank you to faith and thank you to God. Bless y'all. Thank you very much!"

Smollett was also spotted taking selfies with fans as he exited the court.

20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment released a statement on Tuesday, sharing, "Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed."

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Smollett was hospitalized in the early hours of Jan. 29 after being attacked in Chicago.

Smollett has claimed that, shortly after arriving in the city from New York, he was walking when two offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him. The offenders allegedly began to batter Smollett with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

Then, following a further investigation, Chicago Police Department's Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi announced on Twitter in February that Smollett "is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice."


According to Guglielmi, the shift to suspect was "for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony)." He also added, "Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury."

The Cook County's State Attorney's Office then approved charges against Smollett. He was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Filing a False Police Report, but Smollett maintained his innocence. 

Earlier this month, Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.