Los Angeles, CA (Variety) — In a stunning reversal, Chicago prosecutors agreed Tuesday to drop all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who had been accused of staging a fake hate crime.
The Cook County State's Attorney's office issued a brief statement explaining the decision, and did not say that Smollett had been exonerated. Instead, prosecutors cited Smollett's volunteer work and said the case had reached an “appropriate” outcome. Smollett will forfeit a $10,000 bond payment, but was not obliged to admit guilt.
“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 prosecutors' office said.
Appearing outside court, Smollett thanked his supporters and claimed vindication.
“I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of,” Smollett said.
The actor had been indicted on 16 counts of filing a false police report, stemming from his alleged staging of a Jan. 29 hate attack. Smollett claimed that two men assaulted him, poured bleach on him, put … — Rebecca Rubin/@Variety