All charges against actor Jussie Smollett have been dropped in another twist in a case that made headlines for weeks.
Smollett will not be prosecuted for allegedly lying to police about a hate crime, his attorney said.
Smollett was arrested Feb. 21 on suspicion of filing a false report about a hate crime. He faced 16 felony accounts of lying to police. Instead of jail time, Smollett will surrender his $10,000 bond payment and perform community service.
“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 Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said Tuesday in a statement.
Chicago police said last month the “Empire” actor sent himself a threatening letter and concocted a fake attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the series.
Police alleged Smollett, who is black and gay, paid two brothers $3,500 to yell racist and homophobic slurs, tie a rope around his neck, and pour bleach on him in what Smollett had called a hate crime in late January.
The State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told Chicago police she was dropping charges because Smollett would have been sentenced to community service if convicted, according to TMZ.
“We didn’t exonerate him,” Joe Magats, the top deputy for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, said of the case.
At a press conference in Chicago after the charges were dropped, Smollett appeared with his attorney, Patricia Baker Holmes.
“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. This has been an incredibly difficult time. Honestly, one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith, and I am a man that has knowledge of my history. I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through the fire like this. I just wouldn’t,” Smollett said. “Now I would like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life, but make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere.”
Jussie Smollett: "I have been truthful and consistent on every level since Day 1. I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I've been accused of." pic.twitter.com/iX1RVdSc4n
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 26, 2019
A Chicago police representative said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson will be holding a joint press conference at approximately 2:30 p.m. EST addressing the dropped charges against Smollett after the conclusion of a graduation ceremony for new police recruits.
Federal authorities are conducting a separate investigation into the letter.