A judge in Memphis, Tennessee, found there was not sufficient probable cause to try the portly comic actor for the alleged assault of an extra on a movie set, a spokeswoman for the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office said.
"Anthony Anderson knew all along when the truth came out, justice would be done," a statement from Anderson's camp said. "...He is, of course, both relieved and delighted by the judge's decision to throw out what was so obviously a trumped-up case."
A rape charge also was dismissed against Wayne Witherspoon, 42, a veteran assistant director.
Anderson and Witherspoon were arrested July 27 on suspicion of aggravated rape after a naked woman ran out of a production trailer on the Memphis set of Hustle & Flow, an upcoming hip-hop comedy. Anderson costarred in the movie; Witherspoon worked on it as assistant director.
On Wednesday, the alleged victim, a 25-year-old woman, testified during a preliminary hearing that Witherspoon invited her into the trailer, and that Anderson raped her in it.
"I was continuously yelling stop," the unidentified woman said, per the Memphis newspaper, the Commercial Appeal. "Mr. Anderson was taking pictures with a camera phone. I feared for my life."
The defense apparently was bolstered by two key bits of testimony: The woman told the court she'd had sex with Anderson twice on the day before the alleged rape; and, an ex-boyfriend of the woman said she'd told him she'd cried rape in a bid to get money out of the actor.
"In 20 years, this is the most suspicious case I've ever heard," Judge C. Anthony Johnson said in dismissing the charges, according to the Commercial Appeal.
The woman testified that she never had consensual sex with Anderson--she claimed the two encounters with the star in a hotel the day before the alleged trailer assault were crimes as well, the newspaper reported. She said she didn't report the incidents to police because she "was very scared."
Johnson said the testimony made him "very suspicious about the [woman's] credibility," per the Commercial Appeal.
Both Anderson and Witherspoon were in court for the two-hour-plus hearing, Jennifer Donnals of the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office said Thursday.
Though the judge tossed the charges, prosecutors still have the authority to seek grand-jury indictments, Donnals said. A decision on whether or not to pursue the case was pending.
Donnals said prosecutors weren't keyed into all the "information" that was presented at Wednesday's hearing prior to them charging Anderson and Witherspoon. She declined to comment on exactly what it was that prosecutors didn't know.
Anderson, 34, had maintained his innocence from the start.
Last month, he was defending his name again when a lawsuit accused him of assaulting a woman in 2003 on the set of his short-lived WB sitcom, All About the Andersons. At the time, a rep for Anderson said the actor "unequivocally denie[d] the allegations" and that the "ridiculous rape charges pending against him in Memphis" had made him a target.
Anderson was last seen in theaters in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Other credits include Me, Myself & Irene and Barbershop, the surprise 2002 box-office hit that served as Anderson's breakthrough big-screen vehicle.