The story so far:
On February 20, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Gugliemi confirmed that the Cook County prosecutors approved felony criminal charges against Smollett for disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.
He added that detectives “will make contact with his [Smollett’s] legal ream to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest.”
Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest. pic.twitter.com/LvBSYE2kVj
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
Despite reports that police had enough evidence against the actor, his attorneys released a statement saying that they would be fighting the charges.
“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked,” the statement reads. “Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
The felony charge against Smollett, 36, came just a week after he appeared on Good Morning America to discuss his situation.
Since the alleged incident occurred on January 29, there has been a lot of criticism and speculation about the events that took place.
The hate crime investigation turned against the openly gay and black actor after the two persons of interests turned out to be extras who worked on the set of his show that he paid $3,500 to stage the attack.
In an explosive press conference, Chicago Police Superintendent Edie Johnson revealed that Smollett staged the crime because “he was dissatisfied with his salary” on Empire.
The disgraced actor also allegedly sent a racist and anti-gay “false letter” to Fox Studios to make it seem like his life was being threatened just eight days before the incident.
Police also confirmed that the entertainer’s wounds were most likely “self-inflicted.”
An outraged Johnson added that “bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who’s in need of support by police.”
He expressed his disappointment in Smollett for betraying the African-American and LGTBQ communities for the sake of a “publicity stunt” to advance his career.
“Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson said. “Why would anyone, especially an African American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?”
Johnson also slammed the actor for forcing police to invest lots of “valuable resources” into the investigation only for it to end up being a hoax.
“To be quite honest, it’s shameful. It painted this city that we all love and work hard in in a negative connotation.”
“Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.” Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson said. “Why would anyone, especially an African American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?” https://t.co/MfyQuQi1uf pic.twitter.com/SZXL5Hka0c
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 21, 2019
This was Smollett’s second brush with the law in 12 years. The actor pleaded no contest to providing false information to police in a misdemeanor case against him in 2007.
According to TMZ Jussie Smollett will not be prosecuted for allegedly faking the racial attack and all charges have been dropped!!! Jussie and his lawyers will address the media at 8:45 AM PT. We will add updates as they happen.
Jussie and his lawyers were in court Tuesday morning, March 26, in Chicago, where he was facing 16 felony counts of lying to police in the alleged racial and homophobic attack.
Jussie will surrender his $10,000 bond. But, that’s it. The case is over.
BREAKING: All criminal charges against Jussie Smollett for falsely reporting an attack have been dropped, say his attorneys. The actor says he was attacked by 2 men shouting racist and homophobic slurs. pic.twitter.com/tl0MQPjrxL
— AJ+ (@ajplus) March 26, 2019
TMZ learned that the State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, told Chicago police she was dropping the case because Jussie would have only gotten community service if convicted and she said he has already performed community service so there is no point in prosecuting him. At this time there is no record of Smollett doing community service.
A judge has also granted a motion to seal the case.
TMZ also learned that Chicago police are “furious” and feel something untoward is going on with Kim Foxx.