The heavens must have been smiling on Jussie Smollett today! Chicago prosecutors have decided to drop all charges related to his alleged homophobic attack! The Empire actor was "attacked" in late January and from the moment it hit the news, folks have been skeptical. The emergence of the two "suspects" who claimed Smollett put them up to the attack, and paid them to do it, was just what the court of public opinion needed to point fingers. Almost all of us thought he staged the attack and, apparently, so did Chicago prosecutors when they hit him with 16 felony counts for allegedly lying and filing a false police report!
We thought that was the end. Somehow he'd do some community service, go to rehab and then come back refreshed. Well, as it turns out, he's going to be doing NONE of the above!
Via Chicago Tribune:
“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,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement.
In a new conference at the courthouse, Smollett thanked his attorneys, family, friends and Chicago for supporting him through what he called “an incredibly difficult time for me.” He also thanked “the state of Illinois” for “attempting to do what’s right.”
“I have been truthful and consistent from day one,” he told reporters in the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Court Building.
Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, said the defense reached no deal with prosecutors. Smollett agreed to forfeit his $100,000 bond “so he could go on with his life and get this over with,” she said.
Moments after Judge Steven Watkins allowed the dismissal, attorneys for Smollett issued a statement.
"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,” the statement said. “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.
“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."
The judge in this case has ordered the records sealed so, it looks like we'll never know exactly what happened with this one. Here's the curious thing though, if Jussie is off the hook, the brothers are off the hook and no one is facing any charges. . . Did three Black men just beat the system?