The Cook County State’s Attorney's Office announced on Tuesday (March 26) that they have dropped criminal charges against Empire star Jussie Smollett.
As you know, Smollett was arrested on disorderly conduct charges for allegedly staging a hate crime in Chicago, where he claimed that he was attacked by two individuals during a late-night run to Subway. The reason for the whole debacle reportedly fell on Smollet's dissatisfaction over his salary. Records for the lawsuit have been sealed and the case has been expunged from the actor's record. "We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” a prosecutor said in announcing the dismissal of all 16 counts, before Judge Steven Watkins allowed the dismissal.
"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 legal team said in a statement, according to NBC. "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. 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."
As per the statement, Smollett is also relieved to have the situation behind him and is "very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career." Unfortunately, the actor's role on Empire is up in the air as the incident caused some major tension on set of the hip-hop drama. He was previously cut from the last two episodes of the most recent season.
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