Jussie Smollett charges dropped

By Meg Wagner, Brian Ries and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 1:44 p.m. ET, March 28, 2019
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12:29 p.m. ET, March 26, 2019

Smollett's court records have been sealed, his attorney says

Jussie Smollett's attorney Patricia Brown Holmes, speaking to reporters today, said records in her client's court case have been sealed.

She did not provide details about the order, only saying that the state dropped charges against Smollett and moved to "seal the record in this case." 

"I have no idea what occurred in this case and why it occurred. 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," Holmes said.
12:21 p.m. ET, March 26, 2019

Smollett takes selfies with fans outside court

Actor Jussie Smollett talked to fans and took selfies with them as he waited outside the courthouse after charges against him were dropped.

Reporters and cameras swarmed the "Empire" actor as he waited for a vehicle. Smollett ignored questions shouted at him.

One woman shouted, "How you feel Jussie? You feel good? You look good! You look good!"

1:50 p.m. ET, March 26, 2019

Smollett charges dropped "not part of a deferred prosecution"

At a post hearing press conference, Patricia Holmes, attorney for Jussie Smollett, says the state made a legal decision to seal the records and drop the charges.

She clarified it is “not part of a deferred prosecution” and there “is no deal.”

Holmes urged the Chicago Police “not to jump ahead and utilize the press to convict people before they are tried in a court of law.”

12:30 p.m. ET, March 26, 2019

Jussie Smollett: "I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one"

Jussie Smollett spoke following the announcement that the charges against him have been dropped.

"I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one," he said. "I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I've been accused of."

Smollett called himself a "man of faith" and said he wanted to move on with his life.

"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."

12:14 p.m. ET, March 26, 2019

Smollett's attorney calls state's decision to drop his case "the correct result"

Patricia Brown Holmes, Jussie Smollett's attorney, just spoke to the media at the Cook County courthouse.

"Today as you have figured out, the state made a motion to drop the charges against Jussie Smollett and to seal the record in this case," she told reporters.

She added, "We believe that it was the correct result in this case. We're very happy for this result. And we are very anxious for Jussie to get on with his career and his life and to move forward."

12:39 p.m. ET, March 26, 2019

CNN is still waiting for a statement from Gloria Schmidt, attorney for the Osundairo brothers. We have removed a statement that was incorrectly attributed to her.

11:45 a.m. ET, March 26, 2019

Fox has "no comment" on Jussie Smollett charges being dropped

From CNN’s Sandra Gonzalez

The studio and network behind the television drama "Empire" declined to comment on the charges being dropped against actor Jussie Smollett, who appears on the show. 

Here's a statement CNN just got from Chris Alexander, a spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television and the Fox network:

"Many of you have reached out regarding today’s developments in the Jussie Smollett case. As of this time, the studio and network have no comment. I will of course let you know if that changes."
11:37 a.m. ET, March 26, 2019

What Cook County prosecutors are saying about the dropped charges

Cook County State's Attorney has dropped the charges against actor Jussie Smollett.

Here's what prosecutors said in a statement:

"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."
11:30 a.m. ET, March 26, 2019

Smollett had been charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was indicted earlier this month on 16 felony counts after authorities said he filed false reports of a crime.

The indictment charged Smollett, 36, with 16 counts of disorderly conduct.

Here's how things started: Smollett reported to police in January that he had been attacked in Chicago in an incident that ended with a noose around his neck. Police initially investigated the case as a possible hate crime.

The indictment: The indictment said Smollett told police he was attacked by two men who used racial and homophobic slurs during an attack at 2 a.m.

After police detained two brothers who were "persons of interest" in mid-February, police sources revealed that authorities suspected Smollett knew the men and allegedly had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack. The men were released without being charged.

Smollett denied any involvement in orchestrating an attack.