Charges against ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett have been dropped, according to his attorney.
Smollett was charged with filing a false police report about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago.
Prosecutors alleged that Smollett, who is black and gay and plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox TV show, hired two friends to help him stage the attack on him in downtown Chicago early on the morning of Jan. 29. They say Smollett was unhappy about his salary and wanted to drum up publicity to help his career.
“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,” Smollett’s legal team said in a statement Tuesday, according to NBC. “Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th.”
Smollett has denied that he staged the attack and maintains he is innocent. His attorneys have called the charges against him “prosecutorial overkill.”