“He was a victim.”
In early March, a grand jury charged the actor with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report.
Smollett, who was charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly hiring two Nigerian brothers to stage a hate-crime attack against him in January, reached a deferred deal with prosecutors that will see all charges against him dropped.
WATCH: Jussie Smollett Crushed by President’s Unexpected Response to His Attack
Attorneys for Smollett said he was the victim of attackers he was “unable to identify” in a statement released 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,” Smollett’s legal team said. “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.”
“Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions,” the statement continued. “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.”
WATCH: Jussie Smollett’s Speaks To The Press
“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,” the statement added.
According to reporter Fox32 reporter Rafer Weigel, Chicago police were told prosecutors were dropping the charges because he “already did community service.” According to TMZ, Chicago police sources were “furious” that the charges were being dropped.
— Rafer Weigel (@RaferWeigel) March 26, 2019
“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,” a spokesperson for Cook County State Attorney’s office said.
Pluralist reached out to the Chicago Police Department, who said they have no comment at this time. “That may change later in the day,” a spokesman said. He referred questions to the Cook County attorney’s office.
Smollett had been represented by celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos. On Monday, Geragos was identified as a co-conspirator of lawyer Michael Avenatti in an alleged scheme by Avenatti to extort up to $25 million from athletic shoe giant Nike by threatening to release damaging information about that company.
Geragos has not been criminally charged in that case.
Smollett, 36, a black and gay star of Fox’s “Empire” TV show, reported to Chicago Police Department on Jan. 29 that he was assaulted by two masked men who called him racist and homophobic slurs and shouted “This is ‘MAGA’ country!” He said his assailants poured what he believed was bleach on him and put a noose around his neck.
Police investigated the incident as a “possible hate crime,” and many other celebrities, activists, politicians, and journalists rushed to condemn not just the attackers but the supposed state of Trump’s America.
In February, Smollett was arrested and charged with staging the crime in an apparent effort to garner attention and sympathy. Fox would could ties with the actor shortly after, removing him from the final two episodes of the season.
WATCH: Jussie Smollett Outside The Courthouse