Jussie Smollett's family has come forward after Cook County prosecutors dismissed all charges in connection to the alleged January attack against the Empire star. Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly staging an attack against himself and filing a police report.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the Smollett family said, “Our son and brother is an innocent man whose name and character has been unjustly smeared.” The family continued, “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.”
The statement continued, “This morning truth has prevailed and he has been vindicated. All charges have been dismissed and his record expunged (cleared).”
Opening up about the toll this entire debacle has had on the family, the statement said, “The painful incidents we’ve witnessed him endure over the past 7 weeks have been heartbreaking and unjust to say the least. While many were quick to rush to judgement before hearing the actual truth, we are grateful that the truth about Jussie has come to light.”
The statement was made on behalf of Smollett’s family, including his sister, actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell.
Dishing on how they plan to move forward after the dismissal, the Smollett family concluded, “We look forward to bringing the real perpetrators to justice. We thank God and our village for standing by us during this trying time.”
Earlier today, the 36-year-old actor graciously thanked his family during a press conference following an emergency hearing where the dismissal was announced.
“First of all, I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago, and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me, showed me so much love,” he began. “No one will ever know how much that has meant to me, and I will forever be grateful.”
On Tuesday, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced that all charges against Smollett had been dropped, reports The Chicago Tribune. “After reviewing all the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”
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