Jussie Smollett addressed the press after the state of Illinois dropped all charges against the Empire actor.
Smollett read a statement saying:
“Hey everybody, I just made a couple of notes. First of all, I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago, and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me, who have shown me so much love. No one will ever know how much that has meant to me and I will be forever grateful. I want you to know not for a moment was it in vain. 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 had 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 a fire like this. I just wouldn’t. So, I want to thank my legal counsel from the bottom of my heart. And I would like to thank the State of Illinois for attempting to do what’s right. Now, I’d like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with life. But make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere. So again, thank you for all the support, thank you for faith, and thank you to God. Bless y’all. Thank you very much.”
You can watch his statement below:
Before Smollett read his statement, Smollett’s attorney Patricia Brown Holmes addressed a number of questions from the press where she revealed “the state made a motion to nolle prosequi the charges against Jussie Smollett and to seal the record in this case. We believe that it was the correct result in this case. We are very happy for this result and we are very anxious for Jussie to get on with his career and his life and to move forward.” Holmes would clearly state, “There is no deferred prosecution.”
She explained why Smollett agreed to give up his bond money, “Jussie voluntarily agreed to the forfeiture of the bond money.” She would elaborate later in the interview, “Plenty of people forfeit their bond in situations like this…[Jussie] is someone who has dedicated his life to public service since he was 15 years-old. He has taken the city of Chicago as his home. He has volunteered in a variety of ways. He is a good, solid citizen in the city of Chicago. That was the comment made by the prosecutor today.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 26, 2019
Earlier today, Smollett’s attorneys Tina Glandian and Holmes announced all charges had been dropped against Jussie.
“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. 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 judgement.
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.
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.”
Cook County State’s Atorney Kim Foxx noted, ““After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’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.”
Smollett had been accused of lying to police on different occasions after reporting that he had been attacked by two men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him and threw an unknown chemical substance at him. He also claimed the men shouted, “This is MAGA country” and that they put a noose around his neck.
Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson had stated earlier in March during a press briefing that “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary.” However, Smollett’s legal team accused Johnson and the Chicago Police Department of an “organized law enforcement spectacle.”
Daily Wire Senior Editor Emily Zanotti notes that Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson is “furious” about the charges being dropped and the Chicago Police Department was “blindsided.”
Sources inside the Chicago Police Department tell me that Superintendent Eddie Johnson is “furious” over this development, and that he and CPD were “blindsided” by Foxx’s decision.
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) March 26, 2019
She also notes that Johnson didn’t learn about the charges being dropped until today.
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) March 26, 2019
ABC 7 Chicago reporter Rob Elgas does note that an FBI investigation into the threat letter sent to Fox studios in Chicago is still underway.
What was also noteworthy about this news conference with Chicago police was that Johnson also said Smollett was responsible for the threat letter sent to Fox studios in Chicago. That’s an FBI case still on going. https://t.co/Ii6DCbmCTF
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) March 26, 2019
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi indicated Superintendent Eddie Johnson will address the media following the a Chicago Police Academy graduation.
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) March 26, 2019
What do you think of Smollett’s charges being dropped and Smollett’s statement?