All charges against actor Jussie Smollett — who had been accused of staging a hate crime and filing a false police report — have been dropped, his attorneys said Tuesday.
“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,” a statement released by his attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes reads.
The “Empire” actor, 36, was in a Chicago courthouse Tuesday morning for an emergency hearing in his case.
A decision to drop charges would be a dramatic reversal in a case in which Chicago police alleged just last month that Smollett orchestrated his own attack in late January.
Smollett, who was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, had pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied any involvement in orchestrating an attack.
Tuesday’s statement from his attorneys maintains that the actor indeed was attacked in Chicago on January 29, and that he has been hurt by “unfair and unwarranted actions” that made it appear as if he staged it.
“This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion,” the statement reads. “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.”
Developing story. Check back for the latest updates.