“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 attorneys, Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes, said in a statement to In Touch. “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 judgment.”
The statement continued, “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.”
Smollett’s legal representation concluded, “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.”
On January 29, Smollett allegedly experienced a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago. According to the city’s police department, the actor was allegedly approached by two unknown offenders who “gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him.” They then allegedly “battered” him with their hands “about the face” before allegedly pouring “an unknown chemical substance on the victim.” At one point during the attack, “one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck,” according to the incident report reviewed by In Touch.
However, an Illinois grand jury found probable cause the actor staged the assault he reported. Just days before false police report charges were brought against him, the actor’s attorneys Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson wrote in a statement, “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
Smollett was previously charged with filing a false police report — a class four felony — according to a statement posted via Twitter on February 20 from the Chicago Police Department. Per Illinois code, filing a false police report is disorderly conduct. “Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” the tweet read.
Police arrested two brothers, Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, in early February in connection with the reported attack. But they were released within hours and were quickly no longer considered suspects in the investigation. Authorities claimed not long after that during a press conference that the actor may have staged the attack. Smollett entered a plea of not guilty to charges that he lied to authorities on March 14 in Chicago.
On March 26, a prosecutor announced the dismissal of all 16 counts against Smollett. “We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” the official said.
Following the announcement, Smollett said during a press conference, “I’ve 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 … Now, I would like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life. But make no mistake, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere.”
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