The actor, best known for starring in hit US television drama Empire, had been charged with disorderly conduct and appeared at an emergency court hearing on Tuesday morning. But these was dismissed, meaning records of the case will be sealed to public view. There was no plea that led to the dismissal of the charges.
It is not yet clear whether the dropped charges will affect a separate investigation by the FBI into a threatening letter sent to the production of Empire shortly before the alleged attack on Mr Smollett.
Following the dismissal of the charges, Mr Smollett said in a news conference: “I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.
“I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of
“This has been an incredibly difficult time and one of the worst of my entire life.
“But I am a man of faith and a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this.”
NBC quoted his legal team in a statement as saying: “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.”
A spokesman for Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberley Cox had no immediate comment.
In January, he told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home at around 2am.
The actor, who is black and gay, claimed he was beaten and had racist and homophobic abuse shouted at him.
Mr Smollett told police he had a chemical substance poured on him and a rope looped around his neck before the attackers fled.
But investigating police later accused the openly gay actor of organising the attack as he was upset with his salary.
Mr Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct filing a false police report after he turned himself in and was arrested.
Lawyers for Mr Smollett say the presumption of innocence was trampled upon at the expense of the actor.
His brothers, Ola ad Abel Osundairo, were arrested last month for allegedly being connected to the attack. They were later released without charges.
They told police Mr Smollett had written them a cheque for $3,500 to carry out the attack.
The 36-year-old star of Empire has been dropped from the hit series by Twentieth Century Fox while his case is investigated.
He has played the character of Jamal Lyon since 2015.
20th Century Fox Television said in a statement: “We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”
Published at Tue, 26 Mar 2019 16:07:00 +0000