Empire actor Jussie Smollett, 36, has been cleared of all sixteen felony charges against him Tuesday morning in an emergency hearing. Smollett was accused by the Chicago Police Department of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about a hate crime.  

On January 29th, Smollett reported that he had been attacked while on his way home from a sandwich shop late at night in Chicago. Smollett described the attack to be racially and homophobic driven because they shouted homophobic and racist insults. It was later revealed that the two men who attacked him were his trainers and appeared on “Empire” with bit roles.  

According to his attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, there was no plea deal made. After his court appearance, Smollett’s attorney released a statement saying that his “record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him.” The mayor of Chicago and police superintendent both disagree with the court’s decision saying that Smollett is not being held accountable for his actions.  

 

“We have nothing to say to the police department, except to investigate charges and not try cases in the press,” Holmes said during Tuesday’s press conference. Smollett voluntarily forfeited his bond of $100,000.

 

Hoping to move on with his life and career, Smollett thanks his friends and family for their prayers during this time. Saying “ this has been an incredible difficult time. Honestly, the worst in my entire life”. He concluded his statement with saying “ Make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere.”

 

By: Na’eema Jakes and Meagan Chalmers

Photo Courtesy: Daily Herald