All charges against American actor, Jussie Smollett, have
been dropped without explanation on Tuesday after the actor agreed to pay
$10,000 in bond forfeiture.
The 36-year-old was facing up to 46 years in jail on 16 felony count charges of filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.
The Empire actor appeared in Chicago on Tuesday for an emergency hearing after his lawyers announced the news in a statement.
It remains unclear what prompted the decision but the Cook County’s State’s Attorney’s office said considerations were made due to Smollett’s ‘volunteer service in the community.’
‘After reviewing all of the facts and circumstanced 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 spokesman said.
Records for the case were immediately sealed and the case has been expunged from Smollett’s record by the judge.
The Empire star had said he was subjected to a homophobic and racist physical attack by two men in January.
Police suspect the 36-year-old actor paid two Nigerian brothers to stage the attack. The brothers – Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo – are both co-operating with the investigation, US media report.
Smollett is due to appear in court later on Thursday. His lawyers earlier said they would “mount an aggressive defence”.
Suspicion over the actor’s claim started to grow after police said they could not find any video footage of the alleged incident from surveillance cameras. There were also no witnesses.
But investigators managed to track two men who appeared on video footage near where the actor said he had been attacked.
The men – who are Americans of Nigerian descent – had left the US following the alleged attack and were held for nearly 48 hours after they returned last week.
They were released without charges after providing information that “shifted the trajectory of the investigation”, police said. One of the brothers is Smollett’s personal trainer and both have worked as extras on Empire.