Prosecutors drop all charges against actor Jussie Smollett
CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago officials and Mayor Emanuel speak after the announcement that Smollett’s charges were dropped. Emanuel noted, “countless police hours were spent on Smollett” and said the decision is “a whitewash.” Emanuel went on to say “this sends a message that there is no accountability in the system.”
Jussie Smollett’s lawyers speak after prosecutors announce all charges have been dropped.
CHICAGO (AP) – Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett say charges alleging he lied to police about attack have been dropped.
Smollett attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a Tuesday morning statement that Smollett’s record “has been wiped clean.” Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs.
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty on March 14th to charges accusing him of lying to the police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago a few weeks ago.
Prosecutors originally alleged that Smollett, who is black and gay and plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox TV show, hired two friends to help him stage the attack on him in downtown Chicago early on the morning of Jan. 29. They say Smollett was unhappy about his salary and wanted to drum up publicity to help his career.
Smollett has denied that he staged the attack and maintains he is innocent. His attorneys have called the charges against him “prosecutorial overkill.”