Empire actor Jussie Smollett has reportedly reached a plea agreement in his alleged hoax attack case, and the charges against him are being dropped.
According to TMZ, the actor will have to "surrender his $10,000 bond" and perform community service, but in exchange he will no longer face "16 felony counts of lying to police."
"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," his lawyers said in a statement.
"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," Smollett's lawyers added.
BREAKING: Jussie Smollett's lawyer confirm "all criminal charges against him were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him." pic.twitter.com/VYCvi6Vnjf— Tasneem N (@TasneemN) March 26, 2019
TMZ cites sources who claim that the plea deal was reached after the prosecution's case "disintegrated." One of the biggest pieces of evidence that police had against Smollett was a $3,500 check made out to the Osundairo brothers.
Police suspected the two men of being involved in the attack on Smollett, and the eventually claimed that he had paid them to do so.
However, Smollett claimed the check was payment to the two men for physical training, and the prosecution could reportedly not disprove this.
There was also the matter of a threatening letter that was written to Smollett, which police previously stated they believed that he had written himself in order to further fabricate the danger on his life. However, at the time, the FBI had been investigating the letter and had not determined who wrote it.0comments
While reaching a plea deal is certainly not an admission of guilt, it is also not a certainty of innocence either, but is typically done in order to avoid a long, drawn out court process.
At this time, there is no word on how this will impact Smollett's role on Empire.