Jussie Smollett Breaks Silence After Charges Against Him Are Dropped: 'I Have Been Truthful on Every Level'
By Antoinette Bueno
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Jussie Smollett is thanking his family and fans for their support after all charges were dropped against him on Tuesday for allegedly filing a false police report in which he claimed he was the victim of a hate crime.
Smollett and his lawyers held a press conference following the decision, and the 36-year-old actor somberly addressed reporters.
"First of all I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me and who have showed me so much love," he told reporters. "No one will ever know how much that has meant to me and I will be forever grateful. I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain. I have been truthful and consistent on every level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of."
"This has been an incredibly difficult time," he continued. "Honestly one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and I am 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. I just wouldn’t. Now I’d like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life. But make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere. So again, thank you for all the support. Thank you for faith and thank you to God. Bless you. Thank you very much."
Smollett's attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, said court records have been sealed for Smollett's case.
"I have no idea what occurred in this case and why it occurred," she told reporters. "I can just say things seemed to spiral somewhat out of control. We've gotten to a result that is the right result in this case and we're happy for that."
Smollett has maintained that he is a victim and denied all allegations that he staged the incident.
On Tuesday, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office told ET in a statement that the charges being dropped was an "appropriate resolution to 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," the statement reads.
Meanwhile, in a statement to ET, Smollett's lawyers said the actor's record has "been wiped clean."
"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," the statement reads. "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 judgment."
"Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions," the statement continues. "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."