All of the sixteen felony charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped

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What is even happening. The last time we checked in on Jussie Smollett, he had been indicted on sixteen felony charges related to his apparent – and alleged – staged attack. Jussie maintained his innocence, and the Chicago police department made this big show of how they had so much evidence, and they had this theory of the crime which, frankly, made no sense. In addition to all that, the Chicago PD leaked like a sieve – there are now multiple ongoing internal investigations into who leaked what. My point? This case was a mess already. And now all charges have been dropped???

Jussie Smollett will not be prosecuted for allegedly faking a racial attack, because all charges have been dropped!!! Jussie and his lawyers ran to court Tuesday morning in Chicago, where he was facing 16 felony counts of lying to police in the alleged racial and homophobic attack.

Jussie will surrender his $10,000 bond. We’re told he has agreed to perform community service. But that’s it. The case is over.

Jussie’s lawyers say, “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. Jussie was attacked by 2 people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public, causing an inappropriate rush to judgment.”

The lawyers go on … “Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result.”

A source close to Jussie says the prosecution’s case “disintegrated.” As we reported, there were issues with the $3,500 check the 2 brothers received from Jussie. The Police Superintendent had said the money was payment for the fake attack, but it appears it was actually for physical training. The Police Superintendent also said during a news conference that Jussie wrote that threatening letter 6 days before the attack when in actuality the FBI had not concluded who wrote the letter.

[From TMZ]

Well, this is a hell of a thing to happen, huh. Turns out the Chicago police acted rashly without nailing down the supposed avalanche of evidence against Jussie? It turns out that that a powerful police force was super-shady? Well, I never. Honestly though, I still don’t know what to make out of all of this.

Jussie Smollett at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 60th Anniversary Opening Night Benefit Gala at New York City Center on November 28, 2018 in New York City.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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162 Responses to “All of the sixteen felony charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped”

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  1. cate says:

    still think he staged it but cpd etc messed up too. gross situation all around.

    • minx says:

      That’s what I would guess.

    • Renee says:

      I agree cate. I think he set it up, but the Chicago PD are bigger fools.

      • Rita says:

        No, no. JS has friends like you can only wish you had. But now he and his friends have many enemies … I hope the sh**storm never ends.

    • Kendra says:

    • Patty says:

      Exactly. I don’t understand why else he would agree to do Community Service and surrender his bond money. Hmm.

      • steph o says:

        @patty – sometimes the prosecutor will offer to reduce or drop charges if you pay enough money. A friend of mine was arrested for kicking a cop car (it absolutely was not her, I was there, it was some random woman). As they got closer to the court appearance, the prosecutor offered to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor if my friend paid $500 for “cleaning” the cop car she allegedly caused damage to. She paid it because it was the easiest way out and didn’t have the time or resources to fight it on principle. I’m not saying that’s what happened to Jesse, just explaining why an innocent person would forfeit money in order to avoid charges.

      • TabithaStevens says:

        @steph o – Why didn’t your friend hire a lawyer and use you as a witness? I would not have paid one penny and fought it all the way if I had witnesses.

      • Yup, Me says:

        @Tabitha- Lawyers cost MONEY. Someone who charges a few hundred dollars per hour (and can’t guarantee a win) is much more expensive than just paying the fine up front and being done with it. Even paying a few hundred dollars to be done is a privileged solution.

        You might as well have said “Why didn’t she just have her parents pay the fine for her?” or “Why didn’t she have her father sue them?”

      • BCity says:

        @Steph That is awful – your poor friend!!

      • TabithaStevens says:

        @steph o – Bringing her parents into the conversation does nothing. I would think that a large percentage of the population would make arrangements to have an attorney present their case, especially if they have a witness who could prove their innocence. A a black woman, I pay an attorney rather than take a chance without one.

      • Catfoodjunkie says:

        @yup. Every single person who is charged with a crime is offered a public defender. I wonder what his/her advice was, knowing she had a real live witness.

      • kristen says:

        @tabithastevens @catfoodjunkie Public defenders have dozens of cases at a time and in a situation like this, would probably advise the client to just take the deal. Even if she did fight the charge, she’d have to take time off work to go to court and deal with this. There’s a great episode in the latest season of Serial that explains why so many people end up pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit. This is a perfect example.

      • Some chick says:

        Attorneys will frequently advise to settle, regardless of who is right or wrong. Judges are unpredictable and cases often turn on obscure legal principles – the right side doesn’t always win. It’s not just evidence (which can be manipulated) but there are also “expert witnesses” who are paid to support one side or the other… It all comes down to money anyway. Often best to cut your losses and move on. Especially considering what a media circus a trial would have been in this case.

      • Lisa says:

        If they were so sure of his guilt why would they accept those conditions if their case was so strong?

      • Jess says:

        @Tabitha and @Patty. I don’t know about this case but there are tons of times where innocent people take plea deals because they don’t have the resources to fight to clear their name. In many instances innocent people are stuck in jail because they don’t have the money for bail so they take a plea just to get out before they lose their jobs, their homes, etc. That’s why some states are eliminating money bail.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s my guess too.

      I felt like the appropriate response was community service and fines anyway, so this kind of ended ok? But I really hate what it has done for the MAGA crowd and for victims being believed.

      • TabithaStevens says:

        He is not out of the woods. He admitted to mailing the phony letter to the Empire set. This is a federal offense and the FBI will probably want to talk to him. TMZ has a feature about this on their website and it goes into greater detail. I think Jussie Smollett is guilty as sin and his attorney used his pseudo – celebrity status to save his butt.

      • B n A fan says:

        Chicago mayor and top cop held a news conference to say Jussie did stage the hate and rac crime saying “is there no deny in this man” when he insisted he was telling the truth.

      • Catlady says:

        Jussie Smollett has not admitted to mailing the phony letter. From TMZ: “the Chicago PD Superintendent claimed Jussie sent it to himself, but our sources say the FBI had not reached that conclusion yet.”
        They also have another separate post titled “FEDS DISPUTE POLICE SUPERINTENDENT
        … Not Certain Jussie Wrote Letter”

    • Megan says:

      Stop asking about the Mueller report and focus on the real crisis … a barely famous person paid a small fine for a stupid stunt. WE NEED INVESTIGATIONS!!!! (every deplorable on Twitter right now).

      • Alissa says:

        The fact that in the same week two people on totally opposite sides were both not charged in crimes that it appears they committed, partially due to lack of evidence, is pretty ironic. Especially since both sides will maintain that the other side is guilty, but their side is exonerated.

      • Deedee says:

        @ alisa. I agree with the first part of your statement, but neither of these men were exonerated.

    • Renee says:

      From the NYTimes, Joseph Magats, from The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office issued a brief statement. Smollett will forfeit a $10,000 bond payment, but was not obliged to admit guilt. “We didn’t exonerate him,” Magats said, adding that the office seeks to prioritize violent crime and that Smollett does not pose a threat to the community. “We stand behind the investigation, we stand behind the decision to charge him and we stand behind the charges in the case. The mere fact that it was disposed of in an alternative manner does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities in the case or the evidence.” But since all files are sealed (not suspicious at all) Jussie can go around claiming complete innocence. So much for transparency.

    • Boodiba says:

      Someone found a big loophole.

  2. Nicole says:

    All I can say is holy shit. I just don’t know what to make of this. Sad all the way around.

    • Bella Bella says:

      I knew this would happen. The police really screwed up their investigation. Once Smollett’s lawyers kept framing their comments with him being tried in public by the police, and how he has the right to be considered innocent before trial, it was all over. It’s baffling why the police handled it the way they did. That’s the mystery here.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      Same. It’s all just been very bizarre.

  3. Steff says:

    CPD messed up so the charges are dropped?

    • Megan says:

      The charges were dropped because there is not enough evidence to convict him. Moreover, he was massively overcharged, it was ridiculous.

    • Renee says:

      Then why seal the records? If there was new evidence, let us know. If you were Jussie, wouldn’t you want evidence that exonerates you out? If there was a lack of evidence, they should just say so. All this secrecy and sealing of records looks super shady. There’s definitely more to this.

  4. Rapunzel says:

    He forfeited his bond? Methinks they reached a deal where they agreed not to prosecute if he let them have the bond money to cover the cost of the unnecessary investigation.

    • broodytrudy says:

      Yep. And did community service, which is what he probably would have gotten anyway. So for the first time ever a black man committing a crime gets the same deal as a white man committing a crime.
      This is such a weird week.

      • Kristin says:

        Guys, be careful to watch the media’s wording of this. He didn’t agree to do community service as part of a deal. The prosecutor’s were pointing out his record of community service as one of the reasons they declined to prosecute. That’s a big difference.

      • B n A fan says:

        The assistant DA said he did 16 hours of community services between saturday and Monday, gave up the $10,000 because his crime was not violent and they believe he did do the crime he was charged with. So all his insistence that he was telling the truth is a lie.

    • Audrey says:

      Agreed. We have certainly learned a lot this week about jumping to conclusions and making assumptions! Sometimes, what seems like a “no-brainer” just doesn’t hold up in a court of law.

    • Kebbie says:

      $10,000 wouldn’t even begin to cover the costs of the investigation. They had dozens of people working it. His attorneys either have proof of misconduct by the Chicago police or the testimony/evidence from the two attackers completely fell apart.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Then why would he have to forfeit the bond?

      • Kebbie says:

        My guess is because he knew doing so would end the whole ordeal. To be clear, I think he probably staged the whole thing. But something had to have changed for them to drop all 16 charges.

        There’s got to be more to the story than them just saying “okay give us $10,000 and we’ll let you off the hook.”

    • TabithaStevens says:

      He forfeited the bond as a penance to the Chicago PD for allowing his puny butt to walk. People who are not guilty get their bond back. I want to know what will happen to the two brothers. JS did not pay them $3,500.00 for ‘nutritional supplements and physical training’ nor did he pay them to beat his butt – they probably would have done that for a beer. I think Jussie paid the money so the brothers could get the heck out of town, thinking that it would difficult for the Chicago PD to locate them if they were out of the country.

    • BuddyJack says:

      Exactly. The DA didn’t want to prosecute what was already overblown crazy……figured he’d been punished enough…….and coughing up the cash is some remittance toward the aggravation he caused. In the big scheme of life, yeah he still did it, but justice is totally served.

    • Beli says:

      His bail was posted at $100k and he’s forfeited $10k so not even the whole bail amount, just 10%.

  5. Dani says:

    I still think he’s 10000% guilty. He got lucky that so many people were outraged with the CPD for how they handled the case. That, and he’s related to Kamala Harris. And his lawyer is Michael Avanettis cocon with the Nike thing.

    • raindrop says:

      I totally agree with your assessment, but for the record – Kamala Harris isn’t related to Jussie Smollett. That rumor has been going around but it’s unfounded.

    • Muffy says:

      The CPD has been racist for years. I don’t trust their account of what happened any more than I trust their account of what happened to Laquan McDonald.

      • CC says:

        Exactly. CPD is known to be corrupt. Also, Dani, what evidence do you have that Jussie staged the attack?

      • Dani says:

        The two Nigerian brothers, paid for with check, that were questioned, released and immediately fled to their home country isn’t enough? What about evidence that they went and purchased all the things used to attack Jussie? CPD can be as corrupt as they please, he’s still not innocent. And in his wake, he destroyed the voices of many other victims.

      • TabithaStevens says:

        @ raindrop – Two different situation. One neighborhood black guy who the Chicago PD didn’t give a rat’s rear about; the second a black, semi-celebrity, gay guy who had access to a lawyer.

      • BCity says:

        I wouldn’t trust the CPD to tell me it was snowing in the middle of a blizzard. This was always going to be a sketchy mess.

      • LadyT says:

        I saw HIS interview and heard HIS nonsensical story. I think he’s a liar and it has NOTHING to do with the police.

    • Susan says:

      I think so too that he is 1000% guilty. The police messed up by giving a press conference – so basically trying him in the public arena

    • Cay says:

      Why do people keep saying 2 “Nigerian brothers”? I thought they were born and raised in the USA. By calling them “Nigerian” or “of Nigerian descent,” aren’t people just pointing out that they are black? When was the last time someone was listed in articles as “of French descent”?

      • Snowflake says:

        ^^^^this! Not the same thing, bur myy mom says my black pastor is so nice or something complimentary about their “black” so and so. One day i said why do you mentioning that they’re black? She said, I’m describing them so you can get a mental picture. I’m thinking but you don’t say my white friend??!! But it’s my mom so even though i should have said that. I didn’t. Maybe i should go around telling everybody about my white friends. I’m white but I’ve noticed white people do that alot and i don’t understand why.

  6. me says:

    What about the brothers who admitted to taking money from Jussie to “stage the attack”? Is Jussie going to sue them for lying? I don’t know this whole thing is still fishy and makes no sense. Also if Jussie is innocent why does he have to do community service???

    • Kristin says:

      He doesn’t have to perform community service. That’s mis-wording by whoever published that first article. The prosecutor was pointing out his record of community service as one of the reasons they declined to prosecute.

    • TQB says:

      He does not have to do community service – that is incorrect. The prosecutor cited his *prior* service to the community as a reason to drop the charges. (whatever that means!)

      • Catfoodjunkie says:

        His community service was likely something his lawyer told him to get out and do pronto — as he was being vilified in the papers. Guilty or no, that’s good PR.

    • CA Family Code says:

      There is still a Federal Investigation into the racist, homophobic letter sent to himself or whomever he had send it. He’s not off the hook yet.

    • Megan says:

      It’s possible they never said that and it was an incorrect leak. I mean we all believed Michael Cohen went to Prague with a suitcase full of cash.

      • me says:

        There is video of the brothers at a hardware store buying rope, red hats, etc. There has to be some truth to the story. I don’t think anyone is fully innocent in this story.

    • TabithaStevens says:

      The brothers weren’t lying. I think Jussie double-crossed them when they were caught at the airport returning from their trip to Nigeria. The trip that Jussie paid the $3,500 for to get them out of town while he spread his nonsense.

      • me says:

        If the brothers were lying they would have been charged for falsifying a police report no? See NONE of this make sense.

      • Catfoodjunkie says:

        @me. Why would the brothers be charged for filing a false report ? If they reported a crime, I didn’t hear about it.

      • me says:

        @ Catfoodjunkie

        The cops spoke to them on numerous occasions and even raided their home. The brothers gave statements to the police didn’t they? A “statement” is also a police report isn’t it. They reported their version of events which includes Jussie staging the whole thing and paying them to do it. If you lie to the police, you can get charged. I don’t think the brothers were lying though.

    • Alissa says:

      Jussie claimed that the men who attacked him were white and shouted about MAGA country. I’m guessing the two black Nigerian brothers who knew him weren’t shouting about MAGA country. It’s weird how everyone seems to agree that the brothers perpetrated the attack but NOT connect that to Jussie’s original claims. Why would they have bought all of that stuff and been on camera if it wasn’t them?

      So it was still a hoax, IMO. Because it makes absolutely no sense otherwise. They just either mishandled stuff or didn’t have enough evidence to definitively link him to the planning. Maybe CPD didn’t want an OJ trial like LAPD.

      • Cay says:

        I believe the brothers are American, not Nigerian. I believe they were born and raised in the USA, so they are not Nigerian.

  7. Mia4s says:

    Yeah there was no “hate crime”, I think that’s pretty apparent. But it sounds like the investigation side of this was a mess. Reasonable doubt still counts in a courtroom.

    I still think his career takes a downturn from this. Especially if no one is going to explain what the f**k went on!!!

    • Ainsley7 says:

      The brothers is where the police really screwed up. There is a lot of evidence for their involvement, but no evidence that Jussie planned it with them. They technically could have been lying about the check and using it to shift blame to Jussie. It said it was for a service they were actually providing to him. I doubt they were lying, but the police jumped straight to Jussie being guilty. Then they let the brothers go without any charges. The brothers are just as guilty as Jussie is. Being paid to commit a crime doesn’t stop it from being a crime.

      • TabithaStevens says:

        Maybe they didn’t know what Jussie was planning?

      • Ainsley7 says:

        @TabithaStevens Jussie asked them to make the attack look real even though he wasn’t planning on anyone seeing the attack happen. Including details like face masks, bleach and the noose. It was pretty obviously done for the security cameras. That’s why Jussie chose the spot. He thought there was a camera pointed right at it. Without involving the police, how would anyone see the video? They left the country right after as well. So, I have trouble believing they didn’t know.

  8. Rae says:

    I have no idea what’s going on.

    • Lady D says:

      You’re not alone.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      I don’t think any of us do at this point.

    • TabithaStevens says:

      Me neither but it sure is fun to speculate.

    • BchyYogi says:

      I believe him completely. The investigation was botched by the CPD doing a premature press conference & he let them keep the 10k so he didn’t have to deal w suing the crap out of the CPD. Keep my five bucks, I’m famous, now run along. I pray to God he has a career after this- what a nightmare! As a POC twice trampled by the police, Please let this man have Peace!

  9. Lila says:

    They drop charges, he agrees not to sue CPD? I can see this having been so messy (in many ways), had they proceeded.

    Now the entire thing is in the court of public opinion. It’ll be interesting to see what his career looks like, going forward. Despite his loud assertion of innocence, he sure doesn’t look innocent.

    • Rapunzel says:

      Lila, he forfeited his bond. That’s not the action of someone with the upper hand for a lawsuit.

      • sa says:

        Forfeiting his bond is the action of somebody that wants to move on and can afford to sacrifice $10,000.

        That would be a fraction of what his legal bills must have been and at this point it’s probably worth $10,000 to him to just be done.

      • Kebbie says:


  10. Lisa says:


  11. Lucia says:

    We’ll never know the truth but while I suspect Jussie faked it, Chicago PD are awful.

  12. Riley says:

    Innocent people don’t surrender their bond and do community service. He will get on a soapbox and scream about being unfairly prosecuted but CPD messed up and this was the compromise.

    • Rapunzel says:

      I don’t think he agreed to do community service. I think they just considered his prior community service.

      • Kristin says:

        Exactly. People are getting that wrong because the original article published the facts incorrectly.

      • Riley says:

        You are correct. I made that post before it was clarified and it’s too late to edit.

    • Jegede says:

      Everything you said.👍👍👍👍

    • dlc says:

      I thinks that’s a fairly privileged assumption. Innocent people who have seen others wrongly convicted and railroaded might due that. Especially since public opinion turned on him HARD.

    • sa says:

      He didn’t agree to do community service. The prosecutor mentioned his history of community service. And of course innocent people forfeit their bond. Innocent people also accept deals that include prison time, we don’t live in a perfect world where justice always wins out.

    • CK says:

      What nonsense. Innocent people take pleas all the time when the charges are stacked up against them. 16 charges is enough for any person without the funds to pay bail or a high powered lawyer to consider a plea so that they can began their life. Otherwise, they get treated like Kalief Browder who was incarcerated without trail for 2 years because a stubborn prosecutor refused to drop the charges that he couldn’t prove.

      Associating guilt with taking a plea is nonsense given how punitive prosecutors can be before you even see your day in court.

  13. brooksie says:

    I have no words

  14. noway says:

    You know what’s sad the amount of people who are he still did it, even though they aren’t even prosecuting. Do you know how weak a case has to be to not prosecute when you make the grand stand they did. Granted he forfeited his bond, but that’s because he wants it over. I’d forfeit it too. The police didn’t just screw up the case they didn’t have a case. When are we as the public going to learn to stop trying people in the media. It’s disgusting and wrong!!!! Seriously, this is how we end up with a Donald Trump as President. We believe all the snake oil thrown at us the dirtier the better and don’t even look for the truth. I guess our society deserves what we have.

    • ann carter says:

      noway u r serious??? he is 10000000% GUILTY but the statements made by the CPD convicted him based on EVIDENCE BEFORE he was charged. That’s not how we roll constitutionally. The presumption of innocence was violated in STATEMENTS MADE BY CPD…please stop with this, “he is innocent stuff” it’s sad. He has the money to hire a good atty and THAT is how this happened….NOT because he’s innocent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Suse says:

      He’s totally guilty. Disgusting

  15. Iknow says:

    An analyst said that it is incredibly rare for a prosecutor to expunge a person’s record, even if there were wrong doing my the investigators. This has been a weird week. Just a weird week.

  16. Veronica S. says:

    What the absolute f*ck happened here? This has more or less destroyed his career, so why the dropped charges? Didn’t they say they had evidence? Not to mention the FBI stating that the Chicago PD may have “overstated” (read: lied) about this case. I can see why the conspiracy theories are abounding with this one.

  17. Reef says:

    Soooo, the top 3 most corrupt PD in America had him on trumped up charges and couldn’t prove their case so they punted it and let him off completely because the goal was to embarrass him and likely destroy his reputation. Nothing the cops asserted was proven. Unbelievable. Stay trash CPD.

    • CA Family Code says:

      Corrupt or not, Justin’s crime was DESPICABLE. A mind that can concoct such a plan is a sick mind indeed. I wouldn’t trust him to deliver a pizza. However, had he admitted guilt, apologized to the world and sought help, I for one would give him a second chance.

      • Reef says:

        What crime? They charged him w/ 16 felonies but they didn’t prosecute him for 1, case is sealed, his record is cleared, and he just had had to forfeit his bond. They had no case and we still don’t know what happened. This is the same PD that covered up a murder recently, but what Jussie “did” was despicable? lol, ok.

      • TabithaStevens says:

        Isn’t it amazing what a good lawyer and a little celebrity can get you.

      • BchyYogi says:

        Do folks understand the diff between “indict” and “prosecute”? Indict means to “suppose” and “prosecute” means “guilty”. Ugh. Get it right peeps, the CPD “supposed” but NOW he’s now proven INNOCENT. #hireJussieBack

    • elle says:

      @TabithaStevens: it can get you the presidency

  18. Kittycat says:

    I am shocked.

    Chicago PD really messed up somewhere in order for Jussie to be let go with only losing his bond.

  19. Gobo says:

    He did it, the cops jumped the gun and fucked up, he got a damn good lawyer. Pretty straight forward really.

    • Sayrah says:


    • ann carter says:

      this right here ^
      Meantime, Holmes chided the Chicago Police Department for holding a press conference to announce the charges against Smollett in February, accusing him of staging a fake hate crime against himself because he was upset with his salary on “Empire.” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson accused Smollett of exploiting the pain of racism to promote his career, calling the alleged attack “a scar that Chicago didn’t earn, and certainly didn’t deserve.”

      “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, allow the state to investigate and to bring charges, and not to jump ahead and utilize the press to convict people before they are tried in a court of law,” Holmes said.


  20. Louise says:

    Celebrity privilege. Actually there has been a lot of talk about this case behind the scenes. He has friends in high places and they called people they knew. The cops did their job they are livid that he was let off.

    • Audrey says:

      Hmm…interesting! I haven’t heard anything, but I don’t have connections to the CPD.

      • Kristin says:

        I do have connections to the CPD and I’m a Chicago attorney. The police did a crap job. And the leaks were reprehensible.

    • Kebbie says:

      Friends in high places aren’t getting 16 felony charges dropped. They’d maybe prevent charges from happening in the first place, but nobody is sticking their neck out in a case this high profile if there was enough evidence for prosecution. Something fell apart in their case, or there was misconduct by the CPD that will be kept quiet in exchange for dropped charges.

  21. Booradley says:

    Did not see this coming!!!

  22. Mina says:

    What happened is that everyone realized that it would be too expensive to go ahead with court proceedings in a charges as minor as these (when you compare them to the kind of crime that they usually deal with). It’s obvious they cut a deal, Chicago got to pocket the bond’s money (and who knows what else) and Jussie gets to claim the charges were dropped because he’s innocent. Win win for everyone, except the public that now will always wonder if he’s a victim or a schemer.

    • CA Family Code says:

      Exactly. No big city would waste the money on a trial like this if the alternative is community service and a hefty fine. He forfeited bond which was $100k which I think means $10K or is it the full amount when it’s forfeited?

  23. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    Wow. I am absolutely shocked. Not even being sarcastic. Looks like it’s a good week to be a criminal in this country. I expect R. Kelly to be completely exonerated by Friday and dropping a new album by next week.

  24. Alfiesmom says:

    I NEVER believed he was attacked.

  25. Milkweed says:

    I’m so happy for Jussie.

    • TabithaStevens says:

      Really? I wanted him to be prosecuted and serve a little jail time. What he did was unethical and when you throw in the fact that he messed over his brother a while back, he has proven that he thinks he is above the law and gives not a darn about anyone but himself.

    • BchyYogi says:

      @Milkweed. I believe him as well. Time to have hope!

  26. Mary says:

    He got a good lawyer and they probably convinced the DA or Judge to dismiss the charges during the pre-trial hearings. Period. end of story.

    He is still a wacky doodle for staging this though. I think they overcharged him.

  27. CA Family Code says:

    Celebrity justice. This is a plea deal. The case is sealed so they can say whatever they want, but it’s community service and a $100k fine. Had this been a poor regular Joe, they would have gotten time, community service and probation plus fees for probation services. What happened is that Justin Smollett missed out on an opportunity to redeem himself which he could have done with an admission and seeking counseling and a sincere apology to the world. Now he’s just a smug liar no one can trust and he will never work again.

    • Kebbie says:

      Plea deals require a plea of guilt or no contest. The charges were dropped so not a plea deal.

      The community service referenced was stuff he’d done on his own, prior to this whole mess, not an agreement to do community service going forward.

      He forfeited $10,000 not $100,000.

      And finally, his name is Jussie, not Justin.

  28. Spike says:

    Something is rotten in the city of Chicago. The police went out of their way to publicly vilify Smollett. He was tried in the court of public opinion with the chief of police inappropriately testifying.

    I haven’t seen the same pronouncements about R Kelly…

    They put the weight of the force behind this investigation. Don’t they have any real crimes – open murder, assault, rapes, or other felonies that they needed to investigate?

    Smollett suffered reputational and financial damage and loss due to the police department’s actions. I wonder if he might file a civil suit?

  29. Lightpurple says:

    The meltdown this is causing on conservative twitter is giving me much joy

  30. dumbledork says:

    The mayor and chief are speaking later today. Will be interested in what they say. From what I am hearing from some, they are beyond angry he is being let go. But he’s got a good lawyer, had an “in” with the states attorney who ended up recusing herself, although I hear that connection is being investigated now too. He’s not innocent. Just has money and knows people. Hopefully this shit makes an apology for the manpower that was used investigating his fake crime, while other murders and crimes in Chicago were overlooked.

  31. Valerie says:

    I don’t know what to make of any of this.

  32. Veronika says:

    I don’t believe he is innocent. There is something very shady happening here with the famil

  33. Veronika says:

    I don’t believe he is innocent. There is something very shady happening here with the family connections to powerfuI people. He will never live this down. Some will believe he was innocent after all but it seems to me that most are viewing this with quite a lot of skepticism and bewilderment. No one will ever look at him the same again.

  34. Nubbins says:

    Money talks and BS walks. Same as always.

  35. Originaluna says:

    I don’t know what’s more disturbing… the possibility that he planned this absolutely BONKERS plan, or the way the public is responding to this. The comments in this post are very interesting.
    I for one really had a hard time believing that he would do something like this. No apparent motive. He was employed. had money. was out and proud… and I think the CPD just wanted to make him an example and saw an easy target.
    And it blew up on their face.
    I choose to believe him. We ALL know that 16 charges would not be dropped on a black gay man like this. No matter how well connected. Not with Trump as president. Nope.
    I really am disappointed on the people’s responses here.. the narratives here are completely different when the news broke of the attack. You definitely choose to vilify him.

    • elimaeby says:

      100% agreed on everything you said. Everyone here was so behind him when news of the attack first came out. I’m a Chicagoan, so I’ll say it if no one else will; I think a lot of people (not necessarily on this site, but in general) were quick to turn on him because he is A. a black man and B. a gay man.

      Our P.D. is more than happy to vilify its black citizens. I can’t say for sure what happened on the night of the alleged attack, but I can say that this whole story is dripping with Chicago’s completely transparent racism.

      • Alissa says:

        He swore that it was two white men who shouted MAGA country.

        All evidence points to it being the two black brothers whom he knows. There is ZERO evidence that it was anyone else. So, he lied.

        IMO, CPD overshot their case and clearly had evidence that the brothers committed the “attack” but couldn’t definitively prove that Jussie planned it (the check was explained as for training purposes, they can’t prove otherwise). So he gets the charges dropped.

        He’s also still under investigation for the letter that was sent.

        He’s still guilty, IMO, and that has absolutely nothing to do with him being black or gay. It has to do with the facts as presented. I can think the CPD is racist and corrupt and ALSO think that he planned this to get fame and attention and promote himself as a gay activist (or “Gay Tupac” if you will).

      • Kebbie says:

        He never said they were white. People assumed that because of the MAGA country thing. What he actually said is that they wore masks.

      • Originaluna says:

        Thanks @elimaeby
        @Alissa – He never mentioned the attackers race, or what they said. Most of what you know about this case was CPD and media fabrication.
        All this Evidence, and these brothers who so easily provided a story to corroborate something sketchy is enough, in my eyes, to show something fishy is going on on CPD’s side, rather than on Jussie’s side.
        I don’t know where you got the Gay Tupac thing. But ok.
        I might be wrong, but this whole case was fishy from the start. You’d think that with the amount of black men being murdered in the US on a daily basis, they wouldn’t have such a hard time proving at least ONE of the charges to make him go to jail. They even got his medical records.
        Nah. I would think they would have dragged this for longer, at the very least, with the big media spectacle CPD was making of it.
        Also, the Nigerian brothers are sketchy.. and if Jussie had something else to hide… why would his lawyer recommend that the nigerian brothers be investigated? Wouldn’t he be afraid that more incriminating evidence would show up? I’m just saying. I think many people are reaching because it was a crazy, bonkers story and are shocked it is over. Just like that.

      • Kebbie says:

        @OriginalLuna He did say the MAGA country thing. He repeated the claim in his interview with Robin Roberts. He said they yelled “This is MAGA country, [n-word].” And that they yelled “Empire f*****” and “Empire n-word.”

        People have since added to his account that he said they were wearing MAGA hats and that he claimed they were white. Neither of those things were actually said by him though.

        The gay Tupac thing was something he said at a concert of his shortly after the attack. He said “And above all, I fought the f*** back. I’m the gay Tupac.” It was a joke, I think. I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to mean, that he’s tough or something?

    • sa says:

      I agree

      • elimaeby says:

        Alissa: I can definitely agree that the whole story is sketchy as hell, and like I said, I have no idea what happened on that night exactly. I’m pretty sure he staged it, as well, tbh. But his treatment by the CPD was so over-the-top, and I can’t help but think a lot of it has to do with his race. CPD is known for being incredibly racist. A well-known white gay man staging a similar attack would have gotten a slap on the wrist for the same.

        Full disclosure: this is an issue that is pretty hot-button for me. I’m a white woman living in Boystown (a very LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood) who is dating a black man who lives closer to the South Side. The way people are treated by police in my neighborhood vs his (and the way he is treated in mine) has been incredibly eye-opening for me. For being such a diverse city, Chicago is racist af, in my experience.

  36. Lilly (with the double_L) says:

    I can’t even try and follow the breadcrumbs on this, all I know is my first response was to laugh. It’s a personal mystery why that was my first reaction, but when Manafort gets such a short sentence and other huge biases in our “justice” system I’m not going to hate on these charges getting dropped.

  37. B n A fan says:

    I remember when Top cop was asked at his news conference, about a month ago, what would be a good punishment for Jussie he said to pay for the investigation and community services. Well, that is what they agreed on. If Jussie was not guilty he would not agreed to community services and a fine.

    Btw, I believe his lawyer, MG Is in big trouble with Michael A for shaking down Nike for millions of dollars.

    Well, if Don the Con got away with collusion ect everything is fair game.

    • sa says:

      He didn’t agree to do community service and he was not fined. The prosecutor mentioned his history of service and he forfeited his bond, which is not uncommon.

  38. Claire says:

    Well, so much for getting the book thrown at him. Though anyone even remotely familiar with Cook County knows how many people walk or get probation for some pretty violent, heinous offenses. Not that this is one of these – I’m referring to some vehicular hijacking, armed robbery and aggravated battery cases. Probation or nolle’d!

  39. Shrute’s beet farm says:

    Rahm Emmanuel really went after him today in his presser. The state’s attorneys office is in for an investigation. What a mess.

    • B n A fan says:

      What a mess, and he is still insisting he’s telling the truth. He’s lying and everyone knows he’s 🤥. Let’s see how Empire deals with this.

      • jwoolman says:

        I don’t know that he’s lying. This is still so weird. It’s a big “who the heck knows what happened?” to me. So much for the innocent until proven guilty thing.

        The two brothers do need to be investigated but I doubt that the Chicago police could or should do that.

        And definitely agreeing to forfeit the bond does not mean guilt. The costs in time and lawyer fees are ridiculous already, that’s a cheap way for him to get back to his life. He can do it, unlike most people, so why not?

        Police also can feel pressure to close a case and so they too often just leap on the easiest way to this. Hope that nobody murders your spouse, because in addition to your loss – the police will consider you the prime suspect. There are many innocent people who have been sitting in prison for years. People have been pressured into false confessions. This stuff does happen.

        Sometimes if an alleged plan is way too bonkers – maybe it isn’t real. Whatever, they were charging him without a solid case, which is very odd in itself. Many cases never come to court because the DA doesn’t believe the prosecution can win it. On this case, they did not even try. Why did they go from super gung ho to forget about it? He is the same mildly famous person he was before. They were willing to go after him then and were even leaking all over the place to get their version out there. So what happened? I can’t just assume this mildly famous guy that I had never heard of before is that powerful. The police were going overboard trying to make a case against him, knowing that he was mildly famous. The police are now being internally investigated.

        I also can think of at least one powerful person who would be very interested in smashing down a guy who reported what Jussie did, that could act as a counterweight against any rich friends Jussie has.

  40. CK says:

    I’m rather surprised how many people see doing whatever is necessary to end prosecution as a sign of guilt. I don’t know whether Smollet is guilty. However, I do know that “being innocent and taking a plea” is a built in feature of the system that often incarcerates “innocent” people before they even see a day in court if they’re not rich enough. It’s cheaper, less disruptive, and often safer to forgo your day in court. Jussie was public enemy #1, the head of the CPD was giving nationwide interviews against him and even more charges had been tacked on. No one is going to roll those dice if there is alternative, innocent or not.

    Also, it’s rich that Rahm decided to bring his disgraced behind out to talk about justice after covering up the murder of a black teen for a year. In a just world, Rahm would be serving an even longer sentence than the one Jussie was facing.

    • sa says:

      I agree that innocent people take pleas deals for all the reasons you stated.

      But there was no plea deal here. The prosecution voluntarily dropped the charges.

      • Rita says:

        What if Jussie was just doing a favor for a powerful friend …and the Cooke County prosecutor office realized that a trial might actually lead back to the identity of this powerful person? Someone who would benefit from a contemporary Hate crime? Slam on the brakes.

  41. Karen2 says:

    Im just grateful its all finished & he can carry on living his deluded life. Standard h/w bs & no worse than Henson accusing the cops of racially profiling her son after they found him with a ton of drug paraphanalia & actually let him go no charges like happens to all stars in LA.

  42. HeyThere! says:

    What the actual what?!?! It would be a shame if he got away with this.

  43. Laura says:

    I live in Chicago. Jussie is not popular here for the most part. At the outset of the investigation, when most people, including me, believed him. People in the neighborhood where the incident supposedly transpired were calling it into question. That neighborhood is very diverse, and the people living there said it was highly unlikely that MAGA trash would be hanging around there. But people were initially supportive and worried about how something like this could have happened.

    Now the vast majority of the city is furious. First, don’t forget that Cook County State Prosecutor recused herself from the investigation supposedly “out of an abundance of caution … because she spoke to one of his relatives” after the incident was reported and acted as a go-between with Chicago police. As more information about the charges being dropped has come out, we’ve been told that the prosecutors are definitely not saying that he didn’t lie, just as they charged him. However, they think that the forfeiture of his bond and his community service is enough. His case has been sealed. No one will ever know the details. The mayor and the police chief were told none of this ahead of time. They found out when the public did.

    I’m not going to argue that the Chicago police don’t have some serious problems, but they’re not the only ones. In this case, the Cook County prosecutors are much, much worse. Jussie Smollett got by based on his money and connections. He is trash, but it’s unlikely that he’ll suffer any consequences.

  44. Caty Page says:

    It’s bizarre to me that so many people believe the justice system… works.

    People take a plea deal when they’ve done nothing wrong ALL. THE. TIME. It takes a heaping amount of privilege to say, “just fight charges!”

    The justice system fails to convict those guilty of heinous crimes ALL. THE. TIME. It takes a heaping amount of privilege to say, “I wouldn’t rest until my rapist/abuser is convicted.”

    Guilty people walk, innocent people don’t. It’s pretty much luck of the draw with your judge and prosecutor. I won’t be his biggest fan after this, but I’m also not going to say he did anything wrong. It’s the embodiment of the shrug emoji.

  45. Rebecca says:

    Two things happened. 1) His witnesses initially seemed like they would turn on him but they walked back their statements and stood by Jussie.
    2) There is no video evidence that anybody faked anything.

    The police and prosecutors over played their hand. However, if Jussie hadn’t been able to hire high priced attorneys, he’d already be in jail. It’s easy to see why so many young black men are in prison right now.

  46. HomeDefense says:

    Foxx’s mentor is Kamala Harris. Jussie did 18 hours of volunteer work (stuffing envelopes, etc) for Jesse Jackson. Jussie knows the Obama’s. Phone calls were made and he walked. He achieved his goal of getting attention. He may have walked because of his privilege, but he will now live a life-long sentence knowing most people despise him. He will never truly be “free” again.

  47. A says:

    Hmmmm. Imagine the reaction here if a white celebrity had got off scott free after framing two immigrants for a crime he committed….