Actor Jussie Smollett's alleged hate crime case has been a roller coaster ride for everyone involved for months now.
In recent weeks, the case was unsealed to the public, and the Chicago police department issued a new statement on details from their investigation.
Scroll down for a time line of the case from day one all they way through to the most recent news.
Prior to Empire, Smollett was a child actor who appeared in a number of films and TV series such as The Mighty Ducks, North and On Our Own.
He is the older brother to actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who was on Full House as a child and will be appearing as Black Canary in the upcoming Birds of Prey movie.prevnext
On Jan. 29, Smollett alleged that he was attacked outside of an apartment building by two white men who beat him because he is gay and black.
He stated to police that they yelled, "This is MAGA country," while assaulting him, pouring a liquid believed to be bleach on him, and putting a noose around his neck.
Smollett claimed to have fought the men off and called for help, who arrived to find him still with the rope around his neck.
He was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to have his injuries treated but was released after it was determined that he had not suffered any serious wounds.prevnext
Following the attack, Smollett broke his silence by providing a statement to Essence magazine.
"Let me start by saying that I'm O.K. My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words," the statement began.
"I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served," Smollett continued.
"As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process. Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It's all I know. And that can't be kicked out of me," he added.
"With Love, respect & honor... Jussie," the statement concluded.prevnext
Persons of Interest
Police reviewed surveillance footage from the area where the alleged attack took place and discovered individuals they believed to be persons of interest.
Eventually, authorities were able to identify the men and brought them in for questioning. They were released without charges.
The two men are brothers named Abel and Ola Osundairo, and they are of Nigerian descent.
It was later alleged that Smollett and the brothers were seen in his apartment building elevator together on the night of the alleged attack.prevnext
During their interview with police, the Osundairo brothers claimed that they had not assaulted Smollett but rather he paid them to be involved.
Police later confirmed that they had evidence to suggest he paid the men $3,500 to help him carry out the hoax, in the form of the actual check he wrote to them.
In a statement, the Osundairo brothers said, "We are not racist. We are not homophobic, and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens."prevnext
The actor's attorneys released a statement in regard to the hoax allegations, saying on hs behalf, "As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."
Following the new developments, it was reported that police wanted to speak with Smollett again. He reportedly refused, issuing a statement though his PR rep, Anne Kavanagh.
"There are no plans for Jussie Smollett to meet with Chicago police today. Any news reports suggesting otherwise are inaccurate. Smollett's attorneys will keep an active dialogue going with Chicago police on his behalf. We have no further comment today," Kavanagh's statement read.prevnext
Charged with Felony Disorderly Conduct and Arrested
On Feb. 20 Smollett was officially charged with felony disorderly conduct after police determined that he filed a false police report regarding the assault.
At the hearing, Smollet was given a $100,000 bond and ordered to surrender his passport.prevnext
During their press conference, Chicago police also offered a motive for Smollett's faked assault.
They claimed that he did it because he was not satisfied with his Empire salary.
While they did not offer much more info than that at the time, the implication seems to be that he intended to gain more public notoriety and use it to leverage for a bigger payday.prevnext
Dropped from 'Empire'
After bonding out of jail, Smollett returned to the set of Empire where sources told TMZ that he apologized to the cast and crew for what has happened.
"I'm sorry I've put you all through this and not answered any calls. I wanted to say I'm sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family. I swear to God, I did not do this," he said.
Producers eventually revealed that Smollett had been dropped from the remainder of the most recent season.
"The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us," a joint statement from the producers read. "Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out."
"We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of 'Jamal' from the final two episodes of the season," the statement added.
More recently, it was reported that Smollett had been fully let go from Empire, with creator Lee Daniels stating the actor will not be appearing in the upcoming final season.prevnext
Indicted on 16 Felony Counts
On March 8 it was announced that Smollett has been indicted on 16 felony counts of lying to the police about the assault.
According to CBS News in Chicago, the allegations are specifically referred to as "false report of offense" and are Class 4 felonies.
"Jussie Smollett knew that at the time … there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed," the indictment read in part.prevnext
"Not Guilty" Plea
On March 14, Smollett appeared in court again to be arraigned on the charges he faces. The actor pleaded "not guilty."
While he awaited his next court date, he was expected to stay in Chicago, but was allowed to travel to Los Angeles and New York to meet with his lawyers as long as he gave sufficient notice to authorities ahead of time.prevnext
Charges Dropped, Case Dismissed
On March 26, the prosecution in Smollett's case announced that they had reached a plea deal with the actor, where in he would surrender his $10,000 bond and agree to do community service.
In exchange, all charges were dropped and the case against him was dismissed.
"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," Smollett's attorneys 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," the statement added.prevnext
911 Call Released
After about five months after the alleged assault, the call that Smollett's friend placed to 911 was finally released.
In audio shared by TMZ, the unidentified caller of could be heard telling the 911 operator that the "attackers" wrapped "a noose around" Smollett's neck.
The caller is also heard saying that the Empire actor did not want to file a police report, but the friend was going to make him because the incident was "really f—ed up."prevnext
Special Prosecutor Investigation
Just when the case seemed to be over with, in late-June a judge ruled in favor of an appeal to have a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate the way Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly Foxx handled the situation.0comments
"The unprecedented irregularities identified in this case warrants the appointment of independent counsel to restore the public's confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system," Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin wrote in his ruling.
At this time, it is unknown what affect this may have on Smollett directly.prev