All charges against the actor Jussie Smollett, for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack, have been dropped.
The 36-year-old actor attended a court hearing today, March 26, where prosecutors dropped the charges and a judge reportedly sealed the case.
Earlier this month, Smollett plead not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police.
Thanking his supporters outside the court, Smollett said, via BBC News:
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.
— Empire Writers (@EmpireWriters) March 26, 2019
In a statement, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said:
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.
Smollett said he was attacked in January by two masked men, who apparently shouted racist and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him and put a rope around his neck. The actor also claimed they shouted: ‘This is MAGA country’.
Chicago police, however, said Smollett staged the attack because he was ‘dissatisfied with his salary’ and wanted to gain sympathy for use as leverage in negotiating a higher fee.
Smollett’s attorney has said their client’s record ‘has been wiped clean’.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.