CHICAGO (CBS)– After prosecutors dropped all charges against Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor spoke to the media in the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
“I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain, I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” Smollett said. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was accused of.”
After thanking family, friends and the people of Chicago for their support, Smollett thanked the State of Illinois for “attempting to do what’s right.”
“I am a man of faith, I am a man who has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this,” he said.
Less than two weeks ago, Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about a hate crime.
On Tuesday, Cook County prosecutors agreed to drop the charges against Smollett at an unscheduled hearing in the case Tuesday morning. Smollett will forfeit the $10,000 bail he posted after his arrest.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life,” he said. “Now I would like nothing more than to get back to work and get back to my life.”
Smollett’s family also released a statement: “Our son and brother is an innocent man whose name and character has been unjustly smeared. Jussie is a son, a brother, a partner, a champion for human rights, and a genuine soul who would never be capable of what he was falsely accused of. He was the victim of an assault and then falsely blamed for his own attack.”