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False report charges against Smollett dropped

by Kiley Crossland
Posted 3/26/19, 12:50 pm

Attorneys for Jussie Smollett said Tuesday that prosecutors have dropped charges against the television actor for lying to police about an alleged attack based on his race and sexual orientation. Attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement that Smollett’s record “has been wiped clean.”

The African-American and openly homosexual actor, who appeared on the Fox series Empire, claimed he was attacked in late January in downtown Chicago by two men who shouted racial and anti-gay slurs, poured bleach on him, and looped a rope around his neck. In early March, a grand jury indicted him on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct after police said Smollett hired the two men to attack him and lied to police and detectives about the incident. Police also said Smollett sent a threatening letter to himself at the Chicago studio where Empire is produced. The FBI is still investigating that letter and has declined to comment on the investigation.

It is unclear why the charges were dropped. A spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said Smollett will forfeit $10,000 in bail money to the city of Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. His attorneys made it clear the dropped charges were not the result of a plea deal.

Editor’s Note: WORLD updated this report to reflect the amount of money Smollett forfeited to the city of Chicago. His original bail was set at $100,000.

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Kiley Crossland

Kiley reports on marriage, family, and sexuality for WORLD Digital. Follow Kiley on Twitter @KileyCrossland.

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  • Big Jim
    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 01:49 pm

    Well, this is Chicago, after all.

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 01:55 pm

    It is unclear until one reads that Illinois and Chicago are in deep debt and looking for revenue, to the point that it is making news today in the finance world on how they are going to talk investors into lending them money.  Chicago making money on the side is no big surprise.  

  • Sean McGrew's picture
    Sean McGrew
    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 02:03 pm

    This is such an unbelievable miscarriage of justice that it actually has me agreeing with Rahm Emmanuel.

    From the Trib story:

    Calling it “a whitewash of justice,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the decision, emphasizing repeatedly that a grand jury had chosen to bring 16 counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett.

    “From top to bottom, this is not on the level,” Emanuel told reporters at an afternoon news conference.

    Why the state’s attorney’s office made the sudden about-face wasn’t immediately clear. The office issued only a one-sentence statement.

    Even the detective in charge of the investigation is gobsmacked (from the same story):

    “It’s absolutely a punch in the gut,” Wodnicki told a Tribune reporter. “We worked very, very closely throughout our three-week investigation to get to the point where we arrested the offender. So for the state’s attorney’s office at this point to dismiss the charges … without discussing this with us at all is just shocking.” 

    The stunning decision to drop the 16 counts of disorderly conduct was presumably made without the input of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who recused herself from the case last month after revealing she’d had contact with Smollett’s representatives early on in the investigation.

  • news2me
    Posted: Thu, 03/28/2019 01:16 pm

    Never mind.

    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 02:19 pm

    Gee, I wonder if he paid off those guys, and the police had no more witnesses to make the case?  any bets?
    but it is irritating to hear him spouting off again, like he's the innocent victim here.

  • Leroy Young
    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 02:50 pm

    What in the world??!!


    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 02:52 pm

    That $100,000 bond forfeiture sure looks like a plea bargain. Chicago, probably the most corrupt city in the USA.

  • news2me
    Posted: Thu, 03/28/2019 01:18 pm




    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 03:47 pm

    Now the Chicago Police Department can resume the search for the MAGA hat-wearing, racist, homophobes who started this fiasco!

  • news2me
    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 03:48 pm

    Definitely. LOL.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 04:59 pm

    I really never quite understood the “disorderly conduct” charges.  Pulling a hoax like this seems far more serious than anything that would be tagged as disorderly conduct. 

  • Leo Allard
    Posted: Tue, 03/26/2019 07:17 pm

    Does Jussie Smollett have some information that might implicate another person?

  • Xion's picture
    Posted: Wed, 03/27/2019 04:51 am

    The Chicago Sun Times reported that Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, sent emails a month ago to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx expressing concerns about the police investigation and asking that it be turned over to the FBI.  So why would the prosecutor and people with ties to the Obama administration be all smiley and cozy with each other and do everything they could to bargain for the man they are supposed to be prosecuting, a man with 16 felony charges with ample evidence of a major racist hoax designed to frame supposed Trump supporters?  No reason.  Move along now.  Nothing to see here.