The entire production team at Empire needs to drop whatever they’re doing and start filming every piece of this Jussie Smollett situation, because it’s more riveting, ESCANDALOSO, dramatic, and has more plot twists than any of their story arcs combined. Jussie was charged with several felonies for allegedly staging a hate crime in Chicago (with help from the Nigerian Right Said Fred), and those charges got him scrubbed from the rest of the season of Empire. I’m sure that Jussie was working on Empire: The Musical, which he was going to put on for the prison musical, but he can stop doing that for now, because all 16 charges against him have been dropped and his record has been wiped clean. Every prisoner who was making a Cookie wig out of shredded bed sheets and commissary-bought markers to audition for Jussie’s prison musical is going to be so disappointed.
CBS Chicago says that Jussie and his lawyers were in a Chicago courtroom this morning where they were told about the decision by Cook County’s State’s Attorney to drop the charges. Over a week ago, Jussie pleaded not guilty to falsifying a police report. He was charged with every lie prosecutors claim he told in the police report. He was facing up to 64 years in prison if convicted of all charges. Police believe he paid brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo to jump him in a fake racist and homophobic attack. Police say that he did it to raise his profile so he could get more money for his role on Empire. But there were problems with the case, like the $3,500 check that Jussie gave to the brothers. Police believe it was for the attack, but it turns out it was for training and meal-planning.
The State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, didn’t say anything about a plea deal in the statement she released. Kim Foxx only said that in exchange for the volunteer work that Jussie has done and the $10,000 he paid for bond, they are closing the case.
“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.”
TMZ is hearing that Kim Foxx felt like if Jussie was convicted, he’d only get community service, and he’s already done volunteer work, so there was not point in going after him. TMZ couldn’t find a record of Jussie doing community service. UPDATE: Jussie reportedly did two days of community service with Jesse Jackson’s foundation.
The judge also granted a motion to seal the case.
Jussie isn’t completely off the hook. There’s still the federal investigation into whether or not Jussie sent that racist and homophobic death threat to himself. Since it involves the US Postal Service, it’s a different jurisdiction.
Jussie’s lawyers gave this statement:
“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.”
Jussie also spoke to reporters outside of court, saying once again, that he’s innocent:
Jussie Smollett: "I've been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one…This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life" https://t.co/kNQqMavks3 pic.twitter.com/j8JakzSF4X
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 26, 2019
No word was given as to why prosecutors dropped the charges, but part of me thinks Jussie slid over to authorities and was like, “If you stop fucking with me, I’ll let you know about a certain lawyer who is involved in that shady Avenatti extortion scheme….” The perfect season finale cliffhanger for this entire messy saga.
UPDATE: Starting at the 1:05 mark in the video below, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson take a shit on the State’s Attorney’s decision to dismiss the charges against Jussie. Mayor Rahm calls it a “whitewash of justice” and both believe that Jussie needs to apologize to the city, because they still believe the attack was a hoax.