The charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped, according to CBS Chicago reporter Charlie De Mar, who tweeted the breaking news on Tuesday morning.
Earlier this month, a Cook County jury indicted the 36-year-old on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report in relation to his claim that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
“Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him,” read a statement via Smollett’s attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes. “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 [sic].”
“This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion,” the statement continued.
The Cook County State’s Attorney Office also released a statement confirming Smollett has forfeited his bond.
Earlier this morning, the actor-singer reportedly showed for an “emergency court appearance” the day after news surfaced of Mike Avenatti’s extortion charge against Nike, in which Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos was listed as a “co-conspirator.”
21st Century Fox Television has informed The Root that they have no comment at this time. We will keep you posted with updates as they arise.
Update: 3/26/2019, 1:23 p.m. ET:
21st Century Fox Television has now released the following statement on this matter:
Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed.
Update: 3/26/2019, 4:12 p.m. ET:
Following the news of his dropped charges, Smollett held a brief press conference on Tuesday.
“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 have been accused of,” he said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel wasn’t too pleased with the results, calling the decision a “whitewash of justice.” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson stood by his side during the press conference.
The Smollett family has also released a statement, noting, “Our son and brother is an innocent man whose name and character has been unjustly smeared.”