Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett at a surprise court hearing.
The actor, who was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly hiring two men to attack him in a staged hate-crime attack near his Streeterville home in January, has reached a deferred prosecution deal with prosecutors that wipes out the charges against him. The $10,000 posted for Smollett’s bond will be turned over to the City of Chicago Law Department.
The hearing lasted less than 5 minutes. Judge Steven G. Watkins sealed the case file, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“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 in a statement.
Smollett’s attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes issued a statement after the hearing:
“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 29. 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.