Jussie Smollett: ‘I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one’
Following news that the charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped, the "Empire" actor's attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, told a press conference Tuesday there was "no deal" and the "state dismissed the charges."
When then asked by a reporter if she had anything to say to the Chicago Police Department, Holmes responded: "We have nothing to say to the police department except to investigate charges and not try their cases in the press but to allow matters to be investigated."
In a stunning reversal Tuesday morning, the Cook County State's Attorney’s Office dropped all the charges against Smollett, 36, in an alleged hate crime hoax.
CHICAGO PD SUPERINTENDENT EDDIE JOHNSON, RAHM EMANUEL CALL JUSSIE SMOLLETT CHARGES BEING DROPPED 'WHITEWASH OF JUSTICE'
Smollett was accused of faking an anti-black, anti-gay hate crime in Chicago in order to drum up publicity for his role on the Fox drama.
News of the dropped charges came as a surprise to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Both men angrily pushed back at the decision.
“From top to bottom, this is not on the level,” Emanuel told reporters at an afternoon news conference.
"Our officers did hard work day in and day out, countless hours working to unwind what actually happened that night. The city saw its reputation dragged through the mud … It's not just the officers' work, but the work of the grand jury that made a decision based on only a sliver of the evidence [presented]," he continued. "Because of the judge's decision, none of that evidence will ever be made public."
Johnson added, "If someone ever falsely accused me [of a crime], I would never hide behind a brokered deal and secrecy."
JUSSIE SMOLLETT'S ALLEGED CHICAGO ATTACK DETAILS UNFOLD: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
Smollett, who posed with fans outside the courthouse soon after the news was announced, thanked his friends and family for standing by him. He also thanked the state of Illinois for "attempting to do what's right."
“Not for a moment was it in vain. I’ve been truthful and consistent on every level since day one,” he said. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was accused of."
Smollett called the attack and the months that followed "an incredibly difficult time."
EMPIRE STAFF JUSSIE SMOLLETT'S DROPPED CASE DRAWS REACTIONS FROM CELEBRITIES
"Honestly, one of the worst of my entire life," he said. "But I am a man of faith and I'm a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement into a fire like this. I just wouldn't. Now I'd like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life. But make no mistake, I will always continue to fight for justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere."
A rep for 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment, which produces and distributes "Empire," responded with a statement shortly after hearing the stunning news: "Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified on his behalf that all charges against him have been dismissed.”
It was unclear why the court decided not to proceed with prosecution.
Typically, a minimum condition of dropping cases is some acceptance of responsibility.
In a statement, the Cook County prosecutors' office offered no detailed explanation.
"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," said a statement from spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.
Fox News' Barnini Chakraborty, Tyler McCarthy, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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